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3.5 

Let Us Descend

By Jesmyn Ward
Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • Instant New York Times Bestseller • Shortlisted for the 2024 Carnegie Medal for Excellence

From Jesmyn Ward—the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow—comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War.


“‘Let us descend,’ the poet now began, ‘and enter this blind world.’” —Inferno, Dante Alighieri
 
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
 
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
 
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.
 

11 Reviews

3.5
Loudly Crying Face“Absolutely brilliant and very very painful. Ward is such an outstanding author, I look forward to exploring their existing work and whats to come in the future.”
Reviewed in:(Almost) 2024 !!!
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingSuspensefulAbuseMisogynyRacismSexual assaultViolence
Loudly Crying Face“I felt carried away and could feel the words in my heart. The everlasting song”
Beautifully writtenImmersive settingThought-provoking
Expressionless Face
Multi-layered charactersDescriptive writingUnpredictableMagical settingDarkRacismUnsatisfying endingUnsatisfying plot
Beautifully writtenFast-pacedDark settingMagical setting
“The writing! This is so beautifully written...I don't even have words.”

About Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, the Strauss Living Prize, and the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. She is the historic winner—first woman and first Black American—of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.

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