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Jesmyn Ward on Her Husband’s Death and Grief During COVID-19 | Vanity Fair

Please read this piece by award-winning novelist Jesmyn Ward.

Source: Jesmyn Ward on Her Husband’s Death and Grief During COVID-19 | Vanity Fair

5 replies on “Jesmyn Ward on Her Husband’s Death and Grief During COVID-19 | Vanity Fair”

Jesmyn Ward is an incredible person. I heard her speak about Sing, Unburied, Sing at the Manchester Literature Festival 2 years ago (Festival write up here if you’re interested https://blog.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk/2018/05/trauma-jesmyn-ward-conversation/). She has lived through so much and is still so young. When I read the Vanity Fair piece, I wondered how she had the strength to do it, to write like that about something so raw, while being grateful that she had borne witness in that way. The article is a reminder of how different black lives are, from the moment a black child is born and begins to experience the disadvantage loaded onto them by a society built around the preferences and prejudices of white people like me. That an apparently fit and healthy man’s inability to fight off this terrible virus should have roots in the disadvantage of childhood is heartbreaking. What Ward says about the poor nutrition that’s the norm for poor families is heartbreaking. Her article should be required reading for everyone.

I, too, was surprised at how young Ward’s husband was. And when I finished the article, all I could do was wonder how she has done everything while caring for children who must be quite young and therefore require a lot of attention for so many reasons right now. I grew up on the 1960s and have always thought I was pretty aware about social justice issues, but everything that I’m learning right now, from writers like Ward, continues to floor me.

Yes, precisely all of that, Mary. How has she found the strength? And we’ve been deaf to so much despite what the civil rights movement unlocked. I really think it’s the younger generations who are powering the current change. They know and understand so much more than we ‘oldies’ in this.

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