RELEASE DATE: Oct. 24, 2023

    Ward may not tell you anything new about slavery, but her language is saturated with terror and enchantment.

    Our Verdict

    • GET IT

    • Kirkus Prize

    • New York Times Bestseller

    This intensely wrought tone poem stalks an enslaved girl’s tortuous passage through the human-made and natural perils of the antebellum Deep South.

    Ward follows her award-winning Bois Sauvage trilogy (Where the Line Bleeds, 2008; Salvage the Bones, 2011; Sing, Unburied, Sing, 2017) by moving away from her native Mississippi and back in time to the rice fields of pre–Civil War North Carolina, where Annis, a bright young Black woman who has learned from her mother, enslaved like her, that the white man who owns her is also her father and his daughters (on whose school lessons about Aristotle and the social habits of bees she eavesdrops) are her sisters. Annis’ mother enhances the younger woman’s education with lessons in self-defense and survival tactics she carried with her from Africa, where, as she informs her daughter, her mother was a warrior queen. Annis will need all this inherited cunning and resilience after her “sire” sells her mother. Away from her chores, Annis finds solace from her lover, Safi, the bees carrying out their own chores in the nearby forest, and words from a poem about an “ancient Italian” descending into hell as intoned by her sisters’ tutor. After Safi flees the plantation, Annis and other slave women are herded like cattle and sent off on a long, grueling march further south. Along the way, Annis has her first encounter with a dynamic woman spirit bearing the name Mama Aza, an imperious and enigmatic guardian angel guiding and protecting Annis from the more malevolent spirits that endanger the women’s lives en route to the slave markets of New Orleans, which Annis likens to the “grief-racked city” of Dante’s poem. There’s little that Ward’s narrative contributes to the literature of American slavery in its basic historic details. But what gives this volume its stature and heft among other recent novels are the power, precision, and visionary flow of Ward’s writing, the way she makes the unimaginable horror, soul-crushing drudgery, and haphazard cruelties of the distant past vivid to her readers. Every time you think this novel is taking you places you’ve been before, Ward startles you with an image, a metaphor, a rhetorical surge that makes both Annis and her travails worth your attention. And admiration.

    Ward may not tell you anything new about slavery, but her language is saturated with terror and enchantment.

    Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

    ISBN: 9781982104498

    Page Count: 320

    Publisher: Scribner

    Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023

    Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023

    View Source Here

    - Advertisment -

    Most Popular

    Chrissy Teigen Says She ‘Saw’ Late Son Jack During Ketamine Therapy Session
    Tori Spelling and Her Kids Have a Family Night Out at Jingle Ball
    Jeezy Denies Cheating as Jeannie Mai Notes Prenup’s Infidelity Clause 
    Britney Spears Rushes to Vet With Dog On Her 42nd Birthday – Hollywood Life
    The Best Upcoming Movies 2023 (New Trailers)
    New TV Shows & Movies Being Added
    First ‘Fallout’ TV Trailer Emerges From the Vault
    Salaar Official Picture Review Reaction | Salaar Poster Review | Salaar Latest News | Prabhas
    Hisense Tornado QLED TV | Hisense E7K Pro TV | Best TV in 2023
    Everything We Know About Season 3 So Far
    House of the Dragon Season 2 Teaser Trailer Sets Up the Mother of All Wars
    Good On Paper | Official Trailer | Netflix
    Power Trip Members Play First Gig Since Riley Gale Passing
    Power Trip Reunite in Texas for Surprise Set
    J Balvin Unveils 2024 Tour & More Uplifting Moments in Latin Music – Billboard
    AI Hetfield Sings That One Christmas Hit Everyone Loves to Hate
    Book Riot’s YA Book Deals of the Day for December 2, 2023
    Crime, Family Dynamics, the Life of Actors and More in Best Biography & Memoir on Audio
    Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for December 1, 2023
    Cynthia Erivo’s Valentino Look at Alvin Ailey Opening Gala
    Fenty x Puma Creeper Sneakers Are Back + More Fashion News
    The Best Sequin Trousers to Wear This Party Season
    Cuyana System Tote Review | POPSUGAR Fashion
    Fallout Series Drops New Trailer!
    NEW Horror and Thriller Movies and TV shows to stream July 2023 | VOD What’s New Netflix Hulu & More
    Michael Joy announced at Vice President of FEAR VILLAGE horror attraction
    Human Skulls Stolen From Church for Sale on Black Market