Review: Ward’s Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones
Jesmyn Ward

Stunning prose. A look into a world (rural, black, deep south) that is not often depicted in literature. Really, really good.

Salvage the Bones tells the story of a young girl and her family and community as they prepare for, and endure, Hurricane Katrina. The sense of dread that permeates the first part of the book sets in even deeper when you realize (a) that they have no idea how bad things will get and (b) that other calamities and challenges unrelated to the storm are also coming down on this struggling family.

Ward writes with a clarity that is awe inspiring. She says Faulkerner was an inspiration, and you tell. The writing is crystal clear, yet beautiful. Slow burning, yet, I couldn’t put it down. This was the first book by Ward that I read, but within months, I’d go on to read two more.

If you want to see the future of the American novel depicting a part of the world rarely shown, read this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing | Milo and the Calf

    […] read and loved Salvage the Bones, Ward’s first novel about a poor black and rural family preparing for hurricane Katrina. And I […]

%d bloggers like this: