The politics and perseverance of MacArthur winner Jesmyn Ward

Author Jesmyn Ward opens up about writing, being politically aware in her work and how she almost quit writing after Hurricane Katrina hit her hometown.
Jesmyn Ward is the author of Sing, Unburied, Sing. (Beowulf Sheehan, Simon & Schuster Canada)

After recent events like the rallies in Charlottesville and the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the themes in Jesmyn Ward's latest book, Sing, Unburied, Sing, feel particularly urgent. Ward draws on her own family's experiences surviving Hurricane Katrina and life in small-town Mississippi in her critically acclaimed novel. The book is shortlisted for the National Book Award, which Ward won in 2011 for her breakthrough novelSalvage the Bones. Last week, she was awarded the MacArthur "Genius" grant. 

Ward speaks to Tom Power today about Sing, Unburied, Sing, growing up in the South and the trauma that she still carries from surviving Hurricane Katrina. 

— Produced by Chris Trowbridge


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