Readers' Review: "Salvage The Bones" By Jesmyn Ward

Thomas Walker, the sexton of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, carries a bronze plaque from the church which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina as he walks with lifetime church member Melba Smith September 1, 2005 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Biloxi was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and hundreds are feared dead along the Mississippi coastline.  - (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Thomas Walker, the sexton of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, carries a bronze plaque from the church which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina as he walks with lifetime church member Melba Smith September 1, 2005 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Biloxi was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and hundreds are feared dead along the Mississippi coastline.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Readers' Review: "Salvage The Bones" By Jesmyn Ward

For our February Readers’ Review: "Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Ward. It's the story of a poor family from a down-and-out Bayou town in the days before and after Hurricane Katrina. Diane and her guests discuss this National Book Award winner.

For our February Readers’ Review: a novel set near the Mississippi coast in the days leading up to and right after Hurricane Katrina. "Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Ward won the 2011 National Book Award and became a best-seller. It tells the story of a dirt poor African American family. They prepare for one of the worst storms in American history as best as they can. They cannot evacuate, as their white neighbors do. But they have each other. And that becomes the key to their survival. Diane and her guests discuss this story of love and loyalty, resilience and rebirth.

Guests

Dana Williams

professor of African American literature and chair of the English department, Howard University.

E. Ethelbert Miller

poet; director, African American Resource Center at Howard University; board chair, Institute for Policy Studies.

Olivia Golden

executive director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); former assistant secretary for children and families, Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration; author of "Reforming Child Welfare."

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "Salvage The Bones" by Jesmyn Ward. Copyright © 2012 by Jesmyn Ward. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury USA. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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