The Fire This Time


Book Description

"Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this ... collection of essays and poems about race from ... voices of her generation and our time"--




The Fire This Time


Book Description

The New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race—collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation—are “thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify” (USA TODAY). In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. “An absolutely indispensable anthology” (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future. Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We’ve made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a “post-racial society”—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time “seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward” (Vogue).




The Fire This Time


Book Description

A timely and ground-breaking collection of essays and poems about race in America from some of its most unique and powerful voicesIn this New York Times bestselling collection, National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward gathers a new generation of writers and thinkers to speak on race. From Claudia Rankine to Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Jericho Brown to Carol Anderson, these voices shine a light on the darkest corners of American history, wrestle with the struggles the country faces today and imagine a better future. Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin's groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, The Fire This Time considers the black experience in modern America. Baldwin's 'fire next time' is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about. Sage, urgent and impassioned, this is an essential collection edited by one of America's greatest writers.




The Fire Next Time


Book Description

First published in 1963, James Baldwin's A Fire Next Time stabbed at the heart of America's so-called ldquo;Negro problemrdquo;. As remarkable for its masterful prose as it is for its uncompromising account of black experience in the United States, it is considered to this day one of the most articulate and influential expressions of 1960s race relations. The book consists of two essays, ldquo;My Dungeon Shook mdash; Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,rdquo; and ldquo;Down At The Cross mdash; Letter from a Region of My Mind.rdquo; It weaves thematic threads of love, faith, and family into a candid assault on the hypocrisy of the so-say ldquo;land of the freerdquo;, insisting on the inequality implicit to American society. ldquo;You were born where you were born and faced the future that you facedrdquo;, Baldwin writes to his nephew, ldquo;because you were black and for no other reason.rdquo; His profound sense of injustice is matched by a robust belief in ldquo;monumental dignityrdquo;, in patience, empathy, and the possibility of transforming America into ldquo;what America must become.rdquo;




Between the World and Me


Book Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone) NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN • NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.




The Fire This Time


Book Description

“Kenan continues Baldwin’s legendary tradition of ‘telling it on the mountain’ by giving a voice to the unvarnished truth.”—The San Francisco Chronicle James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties, and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement. In The Fire This Time, inspired by Baldwin, Kenan combines elements of memoir and commentary, casting a critical eye from his childhood to the present to observe that, while there have been dramatic advances since the sixties, some issues continue to bedevil us. Starting with W. E. B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr., Kenan expands the discussion to include many powerful Aamerican personalities, such as Oprah Winfrey, O. J. Simpson, Clarence Thomas, Rodney King, Sean “Puffy” Combs, George Foreman, and Barack Obama. Published to mark the forty-fifth anniversary of James Baldwin’s epochal work, The Fire This Time is itself a piercing consideration of the times, and an impassioned call to transcend them.




The Half Sister


Book Description

When she was sixteen, Diana left her unhappy family and set out to make a new life. Twenty-five years later, she has arrived. Recently married to Edmund, she lives with him at his family’s historic country home. But when Diana hears that her mother has died, she impulsively asks estranged half-sister Valerie and her nine-year-old son to stay. The night of the funeral, fueled by wine and years of resentment, the sisters argue and a terrible accident occurs. The foundations of a well-ordered life start to crack and the lies begin to surface, one dangerous secret after another. And then there’s the boy, watching, waiting. The Half Sister is a profound and haunting portrayal of those who are imprisoned by their past and by the struggle to find the words which will release them.




Where the Line Bleeds


Book Description

The first novel from National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn Ward, a timeless Southern fable of brotherly love and familial conflict—“a lyrical yet clear-eyed portrait of a rural South and an African American reality that are rarely depicted” (The Boston Globe). Where the Line Bleeds is Jesmyn Ward’s gorgeous first novel and the first of three novels set in Bois Sauvage—followed by Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing—comprising a loose trilogy about small town sourthern family life. Described as “starkly beautiful” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), “fearless” (Essence), and “emotionally honest” (The Dallas Morning News), it was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award. Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in rural Bois Sauvage, on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. They’ve just finished high school and need to find jobs, but after Katrina, it’s not easy. Joshua gets work on the docks, but Christophe’s not so lucky and starts to sell drugs. Christophe’s downward spiral is accelerated first by crack, then by the reappearance of the twins’ parents: Cille, who left for a better job, and Sandman, a dangerous addict. Sandman taunts Christophe, eventually provoking a shocking confrontation that will ultimately damn or save both twins. Where the Line Bleeds takes place over the course of a single, life-changing summer. It is a delicate and closely observed portrait of fraternal love and strife, of the relentless grind of poverty, of the toll of addiction on a family, and of the bonds that can sustain or torment us. Bois Sauvage, based on Ward’s own hometown, is a character in its own right, as stiflingly hot and as rich with history as it is bereft of opportunity. Ward’s “lushly descriptive prose…and her prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked” (Essence) make this novel an essential addition to her incredible body of work.




Men We Reaped


Book Description

'...And then we heard the rain falling, and that was the drops of blood falling; and when we came to get the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.' Harriet TubmanIn five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five men in her life, to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth--and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue high education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity.




Navigate Your Stars


Book Description

A revelatory, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated meditation on dedication, hard work, and the power of perseverance from the beloved, New York Times bestselling, and two-time National Book Award–winning Jesmyn Ward. For Tulane University’s 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship. Ward’s moving words will inspire readers as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether, like Ward, they are the first in their families to graduate from college or are preceded by generations, or whether they are embarking on a different kind of journey later in life. Beautifully illustrated in full color by Gina Triplett, this gorgeous and profound book will charm a generation of students—and their parents. Ward’s inimitable voice shines through as she shares her experience as a Southern black woman and addresses the themes of grit, adversity, and the importance of family bonds. Navigate Your Stars is a perfect gift for anyone in need of inspiration from the author of Salvage the Bones, Men We Reaped, and Sing, Unburied, Sing.