Tuesday, May 15 at 7PM

speaking and signing
Sing, Unburied, Sing

In Conversation with Clay Smith, Editor of Kirkus Reviews

at Central Presbyterian Church




Online sales for this event have ended. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the event. Doors open and tickets will be available at 6pm.



  • Tickets will be available on March 12, 2018 at 12PM.
  • Tickets are only available via Brown Paper Tickets. They are not available in-store. 
  • One ticket is $20 (plus service fee) and includes one paperback copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing.
  • Each ticket admits ONE person to the Central Presbyterian Church for this event.
  • Seating is general admission; first come, first served. 

Please note: Tickets will be processed by Brown Paper Tickets, not BookPeople. If you purchase a ticket and cannot attend the event,  we will hold a copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing for you at BookPeople for 30 days after the date of the event. You may not pick up the book in advance of the event. 


In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds.

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won't acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister's lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children's father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can't put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children's father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward's distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.


Jesmyn Ward was born in 1977 in DeLisle, Mississippi. Her mother’s employer paid for her to attend a private school after she was bullied by black students at a public school. She earned a BA at Stanford University in 1999 and a Master’s degree in 2000. Ward earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan in 2005.

Her first book Where the Line Bleeds was written to remember her younger brother, who was killed by a drunk driver. She was the winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2012 Alex Award for her second novel Salvage the Bones.

She currently teaches at Tulane University, but previously was an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. She had a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University (2010 to 2011) and a John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for 2014.

She is the recipient of Tulane’s Paul and Debra Gibbons Professorship and also works closely with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and the Newcomb College Institute.

In 2017, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant. Ward’s novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, was awarded a National Book Award for fiction in November of 2017.

If you cannot attend the event and would like to order a signed copy of the book, add the book to your cart and put SIGNED COPY in the comments field at checkout. We ship all over the world!

Thank you for supporting Jesmyn Ward and your local independent bookstore!  
Event date: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Staff Pick Badge
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018

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