Author(s): Jesmyn Ward
Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in a rural town on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. They've just finished high school and need to find jobs, but in a failing post-Katrina economy, it's not easy. Joshua gets work on the docks, but Christophe's not so lucky. Desperate to alleviate the family's poverty, he starts to sell drugs. He can hide it from his grandmother but not his twin, and the two grow increasingly estranged. Christophe's downward spiral is accelerated first by crack, then by the reappearance of the twins' parents: Cille, who abandoned them, and Sandman, a creepy, predatory addict. Sandman taunts Christophe, eventually provoking a shocking confrontation that will ultimately damn or save both twins. Ward inhabits these characters, and this world -- black Creole, poor, and drug-riddled, yet shored by family and community-- to a rare degree, without a trace of irony or distance.
"Starkly beautiful debut...A fresh new voice in American literature." --"Publishers Weekly"
"Lushly descriptive prose...with stunning precision. Her prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked make her novel a powerful choice for our seventeenth "Essence" Book Club Recommended Read." --"Essence"
"I feel like I have read the debut work of the next Faulkner, or Capote, or O'Connor, a great Southern writer whom my children might some day read in their college classes." --Kenneth Jones, "Oxford Eagel"
"A richly textured tale...like the best fiction, [it] creates its own world." --Susan Larson, "New Orleans Times-Picayune"
"A resonant novel for any reader." --"Booklist"
"Jesmyn Ward's debut novel immediately sets her apart as a young novelist to watch closely." --Daniel Van Mieghem, "Literary Fiction Review"
"An emotionally honest snapshot of an overlooked America: small-town, economically stagnant and black." --William J. Cobb, "Dallas Morning News"
"A promising debut." --"Kirkus Reviews"
"Ward's beautiful language allows the location and characters to come alive...will appeal to teens who can see themselves here or who are interested in discovering realities far from their own lives." &mdash"School Library Journal"
"A lyrical yet clear-eyed portrait of a rural South and an African-American reality that are rarely depicted." --Anna Mundow, "Boston Globe"
"The greatest strength of this novel is Ward's ability to capture in perfect nuance the smallest gestures and details of setting in order to bring the world she depicts to life, often through the wordless way in which the characters communicate." --Jennifer Deitz, "Palo Alto Weekly"
"Bursting with life - joyous, loving, frustrated and furious - "Where the Line Bleeds" marks the forceful debut of an exceptional new talent. Jesmyn Ward's vision is at once searingly honest and sweepingly empathic. Her vibrant portraite