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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2017

Duration: 8 hours 22 minutes

Summary:

*WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD for FICTION
*A TIME MAGAZINE BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 OF 2017
*Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
*Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
*Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017

“The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story—the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song...Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” —Buzzfeed

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.

Genres:

  • Diana C

    The voices we so believable as the actual characters that I kept forgetting I was listening to a novel. The lives of the characters are tragic and yet told with such empathy. I miss those characters. I hope there is a book two or a movie.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Monica M

    This book was personal and Soulful and intimate and devastating and uplifting. The narration was excruciatingly beautiful. Its tragic , its sweet , it's infuriating and justifying. I just loved it absolutely loved it.... I miss the book already.....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Linda C

    Beautifully written and narrated. Enjoyed every minute.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Meka M

    Awesome! This book is almost too good for words. The authors words combined with the narrators' talent made me zone out of everything around me and become one with the story. This was my first audio book and what a truly incredible experience it was!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Melodie S.

    Could not stop listening to this book! I felt so sorry for the children and was compelled to listen to chapters over just to hear the narration over again.

  • Danielle D

    Loved the reading of this book. I could listen to Rutina Wesley read all day. I was sucked into the story by the characters. It was interesting the way time gets bent a bit in this book. I'm transplanted in rural south of the past. Actual history was interwoven into the story to give a glimpse of what it was like at Parchman, which I just learned is a real place. I like the analogy of dealing with ghosts from the past. The thing I loved most is the author's ability to bring me into a moment and make me feel every bit of it.

  • David P

    The female narrator was terrible. Over the top angry and dramatic. Content of book was great.

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel

by Jesmyn Ward

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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel, Jesmyn Ward