Singt, ihr Lebenden und ihr Toten, singt

Antje Kunstmann
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Jojo und seine kleine Schwester Kayla leben bei ihren Großeltern Mam and Pop an der Golfküste von Mississippi. Leonie, ihre Mutter, kümmert sich kaum um sie. Sie nimmt Drogen und arbeitet in einer Bar. Wenn sie high ist, wird Leonie von Visionen ihres toten Bruders heimgesucht, die sie quälen, aber auch trösten. Mam ist unheilbar an Krebs erkrankt, und der stille und verlässliche Pop versucht, den Haushalt aufrecht zu erhalten und Jojo beizubringen, wie man erwachsen wird. Als der weiße Vater von Leonies Kindern aus dem Gefängnis entlassen wird, packt sie ihre Kinder und eine Freundin ins Auto und fährt zur »Parchment Farm«, dem staatlichen Zuchthaus, um ihn abzuholen. Eine Reise voller Gefahr und Hoffnung. Jesmyn Ward erzählt so berührend wie unsentimental von einer schwarzen Familie in einer von Armut und tief verwurzeltem Rassismus geprägten Gesellschaft. Was bedeuten familiäre Bindungen, wo sind ihre Grenzen? Wie bewahrt man Würde, Liebe und Achtung, wenn man sie nicht erfährt? Singt, ihr Lebenden und ihr Toten, singt ist ein großer Roman, getragen von Wards so besonderer melodischer Sprache, ein zärtliches Familienporträt, eine Geschichte von Hoffnungen und Kämpfen, voller Anspielungen auf das Alte Testament und die Odyssee.
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About the author

Jesmyn Ward, geb. 1977, wuchs in DeLisle, Mississippi, auf. Nach einem Literaturstudium in Michigan war sie Stipendiatin in Stanford und Writer in Residence an der University of Mississippi. Sie lehrt derzeit Englische Literatur an der Tulane University in New Orleans. Ihr erster Roman Vor dem Sturm wurde mit dem National Book Award ausgezeichnet.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Antje Kunstmann
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Published on
Feb 14, 2018
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9783956142284
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Language
German
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Genres
Fiction / General
Juvenile Nonfiction / Social Topics / Prejudice & Racism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones, Sing, Unburied, Sing) contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the risk of being a black man in the rural South.

"We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.†? -Harriet Tubman

In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young 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 higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward's memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying, Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life, and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
*WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD for FICTION
*A TIME MAGAZINE BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 OF 2017
*Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
*Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
*Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017
*Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

“The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story—the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song...Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” —Buzzfeed

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.
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