Witness to Change: Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 at 6pm: Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones (2011) with Dr. Christopher Schaberg, environmental humanities scholar. The Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses and the Gallier Gatherings Lecture Series is pleased to host the LEH Currents reading and discussion series, Witness to Change: Community Conversations of Coastal Impacts in the Winter and Spring of 2023! The book to be discussed on April 12th is Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. The conversation will take place at the Gallier House (1132 Royal Street, New Orleans) and be led by environmental humanities scholar Dr. Christopher Schaberg, Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. Registration is free and includes a copy of Salvage the Bones. Space and available books are capped at 20 for each discussion, so please be sure to register ASAP. After you complete your registration on Eventbrite, follow the emailed instructions to activate your registration and receive your free book. About the book and the author: Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones. Bloomsbury, 2011. A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that make up the novel’s framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family—motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real. Jesmyn Ward is an associate professor of English at Tulane University. A two-time National Book Award winner for Salvage the Bones and Sing Unburied Sing, Ward received a McArthur Fellowship in 2017. About Dr. Christopher Schaberg: Christopher Schaberg—Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans—is the author of eight books on contemporary American literature, the culture of air travel, and environmental awareness. His new book, out in March 2023, is Fly-Fishing. About Witness to Change: Community Conversations on Coastal Impacts: Every human being has a relationship with water. It forms our bodies, drives our commerce, and defines many of the places we live. Since civilization began, people have attempted to control water—keeping it close, but in its place. But what happens when the relationship with water changes? How do we react when the sea rises, when land is lost, and when flooding affects our homes? Witness to Change: Community Conversations on Coastal Impacts offers a place to have these conversations. This adult reading and discussion program, led by scholars, offers participants the opportunity to learn more about issues arising from the complex and changing human relationship with water. See how these issues are both local and global and join your neighbors in an exploration of how others are adapting to our changing world. Currents is a program of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and is made possible by the State of Louisiana.

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