Meet the Candidate — “Salvage the Bones”

Time to meet the next One Book candidate. This week we’ll be focusing on Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, the 2011 National Book Award winner for fiction.

To start off, here is Jesmyn Ward reading a passage from the novel at the 2011 National Book Awards:

And here’s an excerpt from the novel from the publisher, Bloomsbury, USA.

The National Book Awards has a Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones page and the links below can round out your knowledge of this award winning modern novel.

From The New York Times: Surviving Katrina (review)
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: ‘Salvage the Bones’ heroine in Gulf town invokes Medea (review)
Susan Rife of The Herald Tribune reviews the audio edition: ‘Salvage the Bones’ brings Katrina into sharp focus.

What do you think? Is Salvage the Bones the next One Book?

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One thought on “Meet the Candidate — “Salvage the Bones”

  1. Rated of 5 by Cecelia near miss The title “Salvage the Bones” was intriguing to me, but I do not understand the connection of the title with the narrative. Although there were many things needing rescue or salvaging, none of these things made me think of bones. I also had difficulty connecting the dog fights with the rest of the story. I did like the various themes on motherhood as seen in the mother dog, Esch’s mother who had died, and how Esch would have to come to terms with her own unexpected pregnancy.The author captured the voice of a fourteen year old girl well in that most 14 year olds know how pregnancy occurs but think that it will not happen to them. She also brings in a common theme of an adolescent girl making poor choices about which boy she will pursue and mistaking sex for love. The narrator comparing her own life to the story of Medea may have been a stretch, but may be believable from a histrionic fourteen year old’s point of view. The name of the homestead “the Pit” was confusing especially when used in the same sentence as the pit bull dogs. This book gets good at the climax during the action of the flooding but then just fizzles out. The only resolution is that Esch does see that her quest for love, like Medea’s, was not going to turn out quite the way she would have scripted it.

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