Jesmyn Ward connects her Black characters to climate change, present in the shape of Hurricane Katrina, by using the sound of the storm to explore their lived experience. It is the oral tradition alive on the page.
Like Faulkner, Jesmyn Ward sets all her novels in a town loosely based on her own hometown in Mississippi, mapping a terrain that holds the various human experiences within its topographical confines.
As a teenager, I suffered long bouts of gazing into the mirror. Time fell away and I went into a kind of deliberate stupor. I thought if I stared long enough, I might forget who I was looking at, and—for a moment—see myself as others saw me.