Within this memoir, Natasha Trethewey, who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry called the poet laureate this year, mixes prose, poetry and private letters to capture both physical and mental toll of Hurricane Katrina on her behalf family. She paints an image from the Mississippi of her childhood, describing its northern border Gulfport neighborhood where she spent her summers where her brother, Joe, would eventually accept their grandmother. The storyline is moored by Joe’s encounters: His father (Trethewey’s stepfather) wiped out their mother, even though his existence was on the right track before Katrina, it’s derailed following the storm he’s arrested and serves here we are at a medication-related offense. Within this meditation, Tretheway reflects on which was lost and uses her family’s story to go over the area’s recovery.
DISPATCHES FROM PLUTO
Lost and Based in the Mississippi Delta
By Richard Grant
321 pp. Simon & Schuster. (2015)
This book was created of the impulsive decision through the British travel author Richard Grant to purchase a plantation in Pluto, Miss., the suburbs within the Mississippi Delta, and move there together with his girlfriend. Grant introduces readers to some colorful cast of figures: the blues music performer T-Model Ford, the actor Morgan Freeman and a range of catfish maqui berry farmers, amongst others. He inserts themself in to the culture and makes insightful observations about public education within the South, race relations and poverty. This travelogue is wealthy with understanding of the Mississippi River Delta. Our reviewer authored: “His empathic manner, reportorial talent and eye for that unpredicted detail get this to a chigger-bitten trip that entertains around it informs.”
A Meditation around the Mississippi Gulf Coast
By Natasha Trethewey
144 pp. College of Georgia Press. (2010)
This haunting new novel, that has been shortlisted for that National Book Award in Fiction, follows 13-year-old Jojo, and the family on a car trip to Parchman Farm, a prison in Mississippi that his father, Michael, will quickly launch. The trip is his mother’s attempt for reuniting their nuclear family, despite her persistent substance abuse and also the children’s attachment for their grandma and grandpa. Ward weaves the Mississippi River into her portrayal, describing Jojo as getting “the scent of leaves disintegrating to dirt at the end of the river, the aroma from the bowl from the bayou.” The figures are haunted by ghosts, and our reviewer writes that in Ward’s novel, ordinary people “possess the load and the need for the mythic.”
SING, UNBURIED, SING
By Jesmyn Ward
304 pp. Scribner. (2017)
The Mississippi River is a muse for authors like Mark Twain and William Faulkner. Here, three contemporary authors explore the wonder, tragedy and humanity within the Mississippi River region.