Description : '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 Jesmyn Ward's acclaimed memoir shines a light on the community she comes from in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young black men dear to her, including her beloved brother – to accidents, murder and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected by identity and place. As Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: the fates of these young men were predetermined by who they were and where they were from, because racism and economic struggle breed a certain kind of bad luck. The agonising reality brought Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.
Description : In the voices of twenty landmark memoirists—including New York Times bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed, Sue Monk Kidd, and Pat Conroy—a definitive text on the craft of autobiographical writing, indispensable for amateur and professional writers alike. For readers of Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir and Judith Barrington’s Writing the Memoir, this follow-up to editor Meredith Maran’s acclaimed writers’ handbook, Why We Write, offers inspiration, encouragement, and pithy, practical advice for bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists, and memoirists. Curated and edited by Maran, herself an acclaimed author and book critic, these memoirists share the lessons they’ve learned through years of honing their craft. They reveal what drives them to tell their personal stories and examine the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these outstanding authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most—and least—about writing about themselves. “It's possible that Why We Write About Ourselves is the first compilation of memoirists at the top of their game seriously and thoughtfully considering the genre.” – LA Times From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : Included are conversations with Nicole Aragi, Lesley Hazleton, and George Packer, and features and poetry from Tomaž Šalamun, Kiese Laymon, Ann Neumann, J. Malcolm Garcia, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés, and many more of Guernica’s esteemed contributors.
Description : The death of a student, especially to gun violence, is a life-changing experience that occurs with more and more frequency in America’s schools. For each of these tragedies, there is a classroom and there is a teacher. Yet student death is often a forbidden subject, removed from teacher education and professional development classes where the curriculum is focused instead on learning about standards, lesson plans, and pedagogy. What can and should teachers do when the unbearable happens? An Empty Seat in Class illuminates the tragedy of student death and suggests ways of dealing and healing within the classroom community. This book weaves the story of the author’s very personal experience of a student’s fatal shooting with short pieces by other educators who have worked through equally terrible events and also includes contributions from counselors, therapists, and school principals. Through accumulated wisdom, educators are given the means and the resources to find their own path to healing their students, their communities, and themselves. “A dreadful script had been written for our school and town (and the world) but this did not mean that a new script could not be written by us. We didn’t have to subscribe to the tragic script beyond our control. It was time to rewrite.” —Lee Keylock, high school teacher, Sandy Hook, CT “This book is a meditation on the unspeakable horror and ensuing anguish that follows the death of a student. A heretofore taboo subject, teachers have much to share about their creative, improvisational praxes when shared cultural scripts in urban classrooms are unavailable. This moving and poignant text illuminates as much as it inspires. —Angela Valenzuela, Professor of Education, University of Texas, Director of the Texas Center for Education Policy “Written by the most important kind of expert, someone who has been there, Dr. Ayers candidly discusses his own struggles following the violent death of one of his students. This book serves as an invaluable guide, providing research and practical tools on how to respond to a student death and facilitate a safe space in the classroom where students can ask questions, express emotions, and process their grief. This is a must-read for every teacher, administrator, and counselor so that a school is well prepared in the event of a tragedy.” —Heidi Horsley, executive director, Open to Hope Foundation, adjunct professor, Columbia University School of Social Work “For those who teach, this book will likely evoke painful memories of loss and unrealized potential that accompanies the tragedy of any student's death. Classrooms and communities are worlds of their own, where saving one life or inspiring someone in even the most minute or momentary way can mean saving a whole world. Ayers's book honors the lives of both teachers and students. It is a book for all of us.” —Jack Weinstein, director, San Francisco Bay Area, Facing History and Ourselves
Description : A revelatory, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated meditation on dedication, hard work, and the power of perseverance from the beloved, New York Times bestselling, and two-time National Book Award–winning Jesmyn Ward. For Tulane University’s 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship. Ward’s moving words will inspire readers as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether, like Ward, they are the first in their families to graduate from college or are preceded by generations, or whether they are embarking on a different kind of journey later in life. Beautifully illustrated in full color by Gina Triplett, this gorgeous and profound book will charm a generation of students—and their parents. Ward’s inimitable voice shines through as she shares her experience as a Southern black woman and addresses the themes of grit, adversity, and the importance of family bonds. Navigate Your Stars is a perfect gift for anyone in need of inspiration from the author of Salvage the Bones, Men We Reaped, and Sing, Unburied, Sing.
Description : The twelfth volume of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes contains Hughes's collections of biographies for children and young adults— Famous American Negroes, Famous Negro Music Makers, and Famous Negro Heroes of America —gathered together for the first time. In these works, Hughes sought to remedy decades of historical and cultural neglect by telling the stories of African Americans who had made vital contributions to the construction of the American identity. Hughes made clear his commitment to an inclusive and diverse accounting of the achievements of African Americans on American soil, from vernacular expression to high culture, oratory to combat, geographical exploration to intellectual introspection. His lively and dramatic portraits of African Americans such as Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Mahalia Jackson, battling against exclusivity and adversity to achieve their full potential, present a captivating portrait of America. This volume is a valuable record of the emerging African American struggle for civil rights and positive self- determination. It also documents Hughes's interests as he entered the fifth decade of his life and can be read fruitfully alongside his writings for adults at the time, reflecting his sociocultural and political thought.
Description : The first novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, a timeless Southern fable of brotherly love and familial conflict Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in a rural town on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Over the course of a single, life-changing summer, as they struggle to find work and contend with the reappearance of their parents – Cille, who left town for a better job, and Sandman, a dangerous addict – the brothers are forced into a series of decisions that will ultimately damn or save them. A delicate and closely observed portrait of fraternal love and strife and the bonds that can sustain and torment us, Where the Line Bleeds marks the beginning of Jesmyn Ward's extraordinary career in fiction.