Episode 218 — Jesmyn Ward

   

Jesmyn Ward is the guest. She was the 2011 recipient of the National Book Award for her novel, Salvage the Bones, and her new memoir, Men We Reaped, is now available from Bloomsbury.

The New York Times Book Review raves

[Ward] chronicles our American story in language that is raw, beautiful and dangerous… [Her] singular voice and her full embrace of her anger and sorrow set this work apart from those that have trodden similar ground… With loving and vivid recollection, she returns flesh to the bones of statistics and slows her ghosts to live again… [It’s a] complicated and courageous testimony.

And The Los Angeles Times calls it

Heart-wrenching… A brilliant book about beauty and death… at once a coming-of-age story and a kind of mourning song… filled [with] intimate and familial moments, each described with the passion and precision of the polished novelist Ward has become… Ward is one of those rare writers who’s traveled across America’s deepening class rift with her sense of truth intact. What she gives back to her community is the hurtful honesty of the best literary art.

Monologue topics: awards, Alice Munro, The Nobel Prize, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, LSD, Bret Easton Ellis