Jesmyn Ward

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Photo by Tony Cook

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Two-time National Book Award winner

Today, we re-visit a discussion with two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward about her memoir Men We Reaped. In her memoir, Jesmyn attempts to understand the death of five young black men, including her beloved brother Joshua. But more broadly, her subject is what it means to be a black man in the south. Jesmyn uses her formidable literary skill to give voice and texture to poor, rural, black Mississippians struggling against poverty and racism in a world with no forgiveness. It’s an important and beautifully-written work with much to teach us today. And, Jesmyn Ward is as clear-eyed and thoughtful in discussion as she is in her writing.