All attendees must register for the event.
Charis and the Georgia Center for the Book welcome Jesmyn Ward in conversation with Regina N. Bradley for a celebration Let Us Descend: A Novel. In Person in the Sanctuary at the First Baptist Church of Decatur.
About the Book: From Jesmyn Ward—the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow—comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War.
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.
Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, the Strauss Living Prize, and the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. She is the historic winner—first woman and first Black American—of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.
Regina N. Bradley is an award-winning writer and researcher of the Black American South. Dr. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow at Harvard University, Associate Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, and a faculty editor for Southern Cultures journal. She is also the author of Chronicling Stankonia: the Rise of the Hip Hop South, Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South, and editor of An OutKast Reader.
About the Event: Jesmyn Ward will pre-sign all books. There will not be a personalized signing line. All attendees must register for the event by selecting a ticket. You may choose a free ticket without a book or a single signed book ticket that will include a signed copy of Jesmyn Ward's Let Us Descend: A Novel.
If you choose the book with ticket option, you will bring your ticket (digitally or on paper) with you to pick up your copy of the book at the church on the night of the event. All books not picked up at the event on 10/27 will be available for pickup at Charis Books and More (184 S. Candler St, Decatur) for an additional 2 weeks.
Doors open at 6 pm. Event begins promptly at 7 pm. Parking is free.
COVID 19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS + ACCESSIBILITY:
Masks: Face masks are encouraged but not required.
Social Distancing: Attendance will be capped below capacity to insure social distancing.
The First Baptist Church is fully wheelchair accessible, with accessible parking. Please contact us at email@example.com or 404-524-0304 if you have other seating or accessibility needs or would like to request ASL interpretation.
Event Code of Conduct: By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
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