This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Jesmyn Ward (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,345928,367 (4.13)194
Title:Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel
Authors:Jesmyn Ward (Author)
Info:Scribner (2017), Edition: First Edition/First Printing, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward (Author)

  1. 20
    Beloved by Toni Morrison (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Mournful spirits haunt both shattering works of African American magical realism that examine the effects of slavery (Beloved) and racism (Unburied) on women and children. Lyrical language and stylistically complex storytelling provide bulwarks from which to glimpse unbearable suffering in each.… (more)
  2. 00
    Of Love and Dust by Ernest J. Gaines (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These searing novels feature complex, tragic, and flawed characters in the deep South and are set in part in punitive work camps where choices are limited, the threat of violence ubiquitous, and the corridors of fate narrow and unyielding.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 194 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Sing, Unburied, Sing
By Jesmyn Ward

The book opens when a young girl and her father choose a young goat, lead it to a barn where they kill it, skin it, slaughter it and eat it. Although, thankfully, it is the only animal killing in th book, the feeling prevails throughout. This is a very hard edged book and very blunt...Wards use of words, and tone are poetic and add so much to this look at the deep Black South of Mississippi.
Issues of mixed relationships, drug abuse, violence, struggle are essential for us to understand and important themes in this wonderfully deep novel. It is so important for us to relate to others and respect them as people, so we can bring heart and humanity back to this country... This book is not for the weak....
I felt a real compassion and connection to JoJo, one of the main characters. A child born to a black mother, Leonie who was a meth user and a white father, Michael who spent a lot of time incarcerated, he was not acknowledged or accepted by his Grandfather....Jojo must learn from the violence and despair that surround him and learn the lessons of life, respect and survival mostly on his own....
This is not an easy book to read, but it is essential, esp in this climate of hostility and hatred so many are feeding into and becoming a part of.
An excellent book and recommended highly esp to those interested in the class and race struggle, and the human fight for acceptance, dignity, respect and change. ( )
1 vote over.the.edge | Sep 16, 2018 |
tbh if 90% of the ghost plotline was cut this would have been a lot better. they didn't need to be there! ( )
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
I loved the analogies and thought the author put into this writing and story line. Even though it is a short period of time, this book seems to expand decades through the tales within. I loved JoJo's character, you could relate to him at that age and understand his different emotions and feelings. As for Leonie, I was not a fan, but understand her part in the story line. It really makes you think about things, and life in general. I will seek out other books by this author. ( )
  Chelz286 | Aug 26, 2018 |
Even better than Salvage the Bones, if that is possible! So happy to have a glimpse of Esch and Skeetah a few years down the road - I worried about them.
However, if you could not read the dog fighting scenes in Salvage the Bones, prepare yourself for some very honest reality in this one. But as I say, reading out of your comfort zone is how we grow and learn. What may be fiction for some is another’s reality. ( )
1 vote ioplibrarian | Aug 26, 2018 |
The story of a family in contemporary USA. A well crafted novel with so many layers it may take more than one read to fully appreciate. It's less of a good read and more a commentary on American society - past and present. At times I was fully expecting a sensational, single disaster to unfold (e.g. death of the toddler), instead Ward focusses our attention on the wider impact of more subtle, wider, profound socety disasters - drug abuse, embedded racism, injustice. The result is a book that keeps you anxious about all the characters and their destiny. Not a book to read if you are already feeling low with very few uplifting moments. However, you will be rewarded if you do read it, and will have a better understanding of the issues Ward raises if you are, like me, unfamiliar with American contemporary family life and the history it has emerged from. ( )
1 vote sachesney | Aug 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Ward’s prose counterpoints the inhumanity. She’s always reaching for a simile, something to pin the moment and find redemption in it..Jojo, Leona and Richie tell the story in turn. The fecund delta draws out the baroque. You’re never far from growth. You’re never far from decay. Ward brings story to the edge of allegory and keeps it there without tipping over...Ward has to deal with the festering cache of Black American history, to look at historic and present hurt, and to look past it at the same time. She does it brilliantly... Ward’s writing is laced with compassion. The wonder is that she can find room for it.
Sing, Unburied, Sing won the National Book award for fiction in the US. In many ways, though, it’s not as strong as Ward’s previous work, including her 2011 novel Salvage the Bones and her 2013 memoir Men We Reaped. Its dense lyricism is often heavy handed. In drawing on William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying – both in its multiple first-person narratives and its story of a poor rural family that embarks on a wagon trek to Mississippi – it comes across as self-consciously literary...Jojo, fierce and tender, is the endearing heart of the novel; other characters, including Leonie, are fitfully ventriloquised and remain rather distant. The ramshackle journey at its spine and Ward’s rendering of the region’s dark geologies and histories are more potent than her awkward stage-managing of spirits and apparitions in the second half. Still, for all its occasional mis- and oversteps, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a brooding, pained meditation on the proposition, spelled out by Colson Whitehead in The Underground Railroad, that “America is a ghost in the darkness

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ward, JesmynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miceli, JayaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sundström, JoakimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Who are we looking for, who are we looking for?
It's Equiano we're looking for.
Has he gone to the stream? Let him come back.
Has he gone to the farm? Let him return.
It's Equiano we're looking for.

----Kwa chant about the disappearance of Equiano an African boy
The memory is a living thing---it too is in transit. But during its moment, all that is remembered joins, and lives---the old and the young, the past and the present, the living and the dead.

---from One Writer's Beginnings,
by Eudora Welty
The Gulf shines dull as lead. The coast of Texas
glints like a metal rim. I have no home
as long as summer bubbling to its head

boils for that day when in the Lord God's name
the coals of fire are heaped upon the head
of all whose gospel is the whip and flame,

age after age, the uninstructing dead.

--from "The Gulf," by Derek Walcott
For my mother, Norine Elizabeth Dedeaux, who loved me before I took my first breath. Every second of my life, she shows me so.
First words
I like to think I know what death is.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary
JoJo is tender,
Straight-backed as murdering Pop;
Kayla, too, sees ghosts.

No descriptions found.

"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"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.13)
1 2
2 11
2.5 3
3 40
3.5 17
4 142
4.5 48
5 103

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,978,961 books! | Top bar: Always visible