Where the Line Bleeds
Jesmyn Ward, . . Agate Publishing, $15 (241pp) ISBN 978-1-932841-38-1
Impoverished twins living along the Mississippi Gulf Coast struggle to survive after high school in Ward's starkly beautiful debut. Abandoned by their mother and raised by their loving but ailing grandmother, Joshua and Christophe DeLisle know job prospects are slim in rural Bois Sauvage, so they spend their days playing basketball and flirting with the local girls. Eventually, even with no work history, Joshua is hired to work on the docks, but Christophe falls in with the brothers' drug-dealing cousin. Too ashamed to admit that he spends his days in the park selling marijuana, Christophe secretly contributes to the family's expenses with regular “deposits” to his grandmother's purse. But when Christophe decides to start selling more dangerous drugs, tensions between the twins grow, and the arrival of their long-absent drug addict father sparks a violent confrontation. A fresh new voice in American literature, Ward unflinchingly describes a world full of despair but not devoid of hope.
Reviewed on: 09/22/2008
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1361-2
Library Binding - 481 pages - 978-1-4328-5601-4
Other - 250 pages - 978-1-57284-648-7
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-5011-6433-0