When I received Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped: A Memoir,” I’ll be quite honest and say I was a little hesitant about reading it.  When I think memoir, I’m a little taken-aback by those in their 30’s writing about their lives.  Ward’s book sat on my nightstand for weeks, along with several other books I intend to read.  It wasn’t until this weekend, that I decided to give it a go.

For those unfamiliar with Ward, she’s a former Stegner fellow at Stanford and Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Her previous novels,  Where the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, are two books that I couldn’t put down, and have read them both twice.

“Men We Reaped” is a coming of age story set in Ward’s hometown of DeLisle, Mississippi. She tells the story of  five men in her life, their deaths and how they impacted her.  Ward also writes about growing up in poverty in rural Mississippi.  As to not give any spoilers away, because I hate book spoilers more than movie spoilers, “Men We Reaped” is a heartbreaking tale of survival and beating the system, as Ward has done.

This memoir will definitely sit besides some of the best I’ve read.

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  • Jay

    I went to an African American bookstore in LA and I saw this book and was intrigued. Then I learned that the author was from my home state “The Sip” and I was even more intrigued. It’s always nice to see fellow Mississippians of this generation doing great things. I wasn’t able to pick the book up because I’m ballin’ on a budget right now, but I will get a copy from my local library and read it.

  • SugarSatan

    Wow,I had to do a double take on that title.At first I was like what kinda freaky ish is this,I didn’t see that e in there at first….

  • DownSouth Transplant

    This is a must read for those of us who longed to “run from/to” as soon as we got a chance to split from home, then happenstance/cosmos/divine guidance will circle us back to the very place we could not take/stand to spend another 5 minutes.