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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel (2017 original; edició 2017)
de Jesmyn Ward (Autor)
Informació de l'obra
Canteu, esperits, canteu de Jesmyn Ward (2017)
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In Mississippi there is a family haunted by pain and death. A Southern gothic that wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, which wasn't at all the book's fault. Very well written. ( )
Well, everyone who knows me knows that magical realism is not my thing, but I did love [b:Lincoln in the Bardo|29906980|Lincoln in the Bardo|George Saunders|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492130850s/29906980.jpg|50281866] so I thought that maybe the ghosts in this story wouldn't affect my enjoyment too much. To be honest, for me, the ghost of Richie detracted from the the novel while the ghost of Given worked. That being said, I am completely in love with Ward's prose. This book is the second one I read from her this year, and magical realism or no magical realism, this author deserves the prizes she has received.
The plot, such that it is, focuses primarily on JoJo, and young adolescent and son of a mixed relationship between Leonie (African-American) and Michael (Caucasion). JoJo lives with his grandfather and grandmother and Leonie, and Michael is finishing up a prison term. Let's just say Leonie isn't going to be winning any "mother of the year" awards. She's a drug addict, somewhat violent, and very selfish. As a result, JoJo is very much more bonded to his grandparents, specifically his grandfather, River. Personally, I found the novel's exploration of the darkness of the day to day existence of this family - which has faced many struggles including the murder of Leonie's brother - to be interesting in and of itself. However, it is a slow reveal . . .not a whole lot of action.
Where things either get more interesting (if you like magical realism) or more unbelievable (if you are a skeptic like me), is when we meet Richie, the ghost of a boy who was imprisoned at the same time River was. River attempted to protect Richie, recognizing he was too young to really survive on his own. Unfortunately, Richie's spirit is not at rest, and he attempts to use JoJo to reach River and get some resolution regarding his tumultuous past. Apparently, I just have a LOT of trouble suspending disbelief, but even if I can get my mind around the existence of ghosts, I am challenged with the idea that an innocent child's afterlife would be as unresolved and painful as Richie's.
Ward does a better job with the ghost of Leonie's brother who only really appears to her when she is strung out on meth - - hence making him more believable to me as perhaps a figment of her drug addled imagination.
It truly is amazing I'm giving this book four stars; that's how good Ward's writing is. I think she does some incredibly unbelievable things with this story, and somehow she pulls it off. I appreciated her ability to create empathy in her reader even if I didn't personally care for the means.
You can smell and feel and hear everything in this book like you're there with them. An aching but beautiful story about the souls we carry with us whether we like it or not.
I often state there are two types of books- books you read and books you READ. Books you read are books you enjoy, consume, and move on. Books you READ are books that demand your attention. They need to be savored and enjoyed. They have plots that need to be closely followed and the writing is so tremendous that you must pay attention. That book will then go lovingly back onto the shelf and will be pulled down and read again. Sing, Unburied, Sing is the later type of book.
I will be truthful is saying, I started this book on the train and about 20 pages in, I put the book down because I wasn't giving it the proper attention. There was also a lot going on. This is told from various perspectives including a ghost. Somehow Ward weaves these stories into an Odyssey across the poor southern black landscape. It is not a pretty book, in fact the way I described it is that many books such as this one, might have a theme of- when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and things turn alright in the end. In Ward's case, the lesson might be- life gives you lemons and sometimes those lemons are rotten, so sucks to be you. There is no holding back.
I can't write enough about this book, but let me simply state- READ it. I gave this 5 stars.
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At just 304 pages long, “Sing, Unburied, Sing” is a road novel, a ghost story, a family epic, and damning testimony bearing witness to terrible crimes. It is also unforgettable.
...Ward is seeking something more from (or perhaps for) her characters. And so the road trip, and the drug drama, and the struggle for wholeness unfold against a series of more mysterious events.... For each of these characters, living or dead, what lies unasked or unspoken becomes an impediment not just to happiness or social mobility but to literal deliverance — and each must decide whether to rise to the occasion, whether to let what he or she harbors sound out. Maybe that’s the miracle here: that ordinary people whose lives have become so easy to classify into categories like rural poor, drug-dependent, products of the criminal justice system, possess the weight and the value of the mythic — and not only after death; that 13-year-olds like Jojo might be worthy of our rapt attention while their lives are just beginning.... Such feats of empathy are difficult, all too often impossible to muster in real life. But they feel genuinely inevitable when offered by a writer of such lyric imagination as Ward. “Sing, Unburied, Sing” is many things: a road novel, a slender epic of three generations and the ghosts that haunt them, and a portrait of what ordinary folk in dire circumstances cleave to as well as what they — and perhaps we all — are trying to outrun.
This is a lyrical howl of a book that knows exactly when to go quiet and when to make its cries almost unbearable. It's a story of unfinished business, for both a country still struggling to live up to its ideals and for the ghosts that walk through these pages ... The past is its own character in Sing, Unburied, Sing, ready to burst in without a moment's notice and remind everyone it never really went away. If William Faulkner mined the South for gothic, stream-of-consciousness tragedy, and Toni Morrison conjured magical realism from the corroding power of the region's race hatred, then Ward is a worthy heir to both. This is not praise to be taken lightly. Ward has the command of language and the sense of place, the empathy and the imagination, to carve out her own place among the literary giants.
The title Sing, Unburied, Sing seems to echo the opening of the Iliad, when Homer asks the muse to sing of unburied bodies left on the battlefield of Troy "a feast for dogs and birds," while the dead men's souls descend to Hades. Homer's poems were meant to act as immortal grave markers for the war dead, even as the physical graves and bodies would rot away. We're still singing for those Greek corpses; why not, Jesmyn Ward asks, sing for the generations of black Southerners undone by racism and history, lynched, raped, enslaved, shot, and imprisoned? In this lush and lonely novel, Ward lets the dead sing. It's a kind of burial.
However eternal its concerns, “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” Ward’s new book, is perfectly poised for the moment. It combines aspects of the American road novel and the ghost story with a timely treatment of the long aftershocks of a hurricane and the opioid epidemic devouring rural America....With the supernatural cast to the story, everything feels heightened. The clearest influence is Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” — the child returning from the dead, bitter and wronged and full of questions. The echoes in the language feel like deliberate homage.... The ghosts — most of them, at any rate — want to rest, but they need restitution first. They need to know what happened to them, and why. It’s the unfinished business of a nation, playing out today in the calls for the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers and in the resurgence of the Klan.
Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie's children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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