Jesmyn Ward’s latest book addresses race in America

Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward Sun Herald File

    Author Jesmyn Ward, who grew up in DeLisle outside of Pass Christian, will sign copies of her latest book, “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race,” at Pass Christian Books from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.

    Ward is the author of three novels — “Where the Line Bleeds,” National Book Award winner “Salvage the Bones” and National Books Critics Circle Award finalist “Men We Reaped.”

    “The Fire This Time” is a collection of essays, memoirs and poems that examine race in America. Inspired by James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time,” which, according to the book’s introduction, gave comfort to Ward after the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, Ward and her editor sought writers and thinkers of her generation who could give voice to frustrations and fears many black Americans have been experiencing in recent years.

    The book is divided into three sections: Legacy, a look at the impact of race in America’s past; Reckoning, a wrestling with the consequences of the past as they play in the current environment; and Jubilee, the attempt to envision a better future.

    Fellow Mississippian and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey contributes the poem “Theories of Time and Space.”

    Other contributors include American Book Award winner Emily Raboteau; Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism; Ernest J. Gaines Award winner Mitchell S. Jackson and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Edwidge Danticat. Ward herself has written the essay “Cracking the Code” for the Reckoning section.

    Ward is an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans.

    Pass Christian Books is at 300 E. Scenic Drive, Pass Christian.

    Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1

    If you go

    What: Author Jesmyn Ward will sign copies of her latest book, “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race,”

    Where: Pass Christian Books, 300 E. Scenic Drive, Pass Christian

    When: 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.