Jesmyn Ward is expected to release not one but two new works in the future.
According to BookPage, the two-time National Book Award-winning writer and MacArthur fellow from Mississippi is priming to write two new books: an adult novel based in New Orleans, and a middle-grade children’s novel. The former project will be her first fiction foray that is set outside of her native Mississippi, in which all of her previous novels — Where the Lines Bleed, Salvage the Bones, and Sing, Unburied, Sing — have settled.
“Even though I read voraciously as a child, I never saw myself in books,” Ward told Scribner in a press release. “Without narratives to expand my ideas of who I could be, I accepted the stories others told me about myself, stories which diminished and belittled me and people like me.”
The adult title, which has yet been given an official name, will be released under Scribner, and will base itself on the country’s greatest slave market and concentrate on an enslaved woman shipped there from the Carolinas.
In addition, Ward’s children’s book will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers umbrella and will be an adventure story focusing on a black Southern girl with magic abilities. If you ask me, I’m guessing her children’s novel might have been motived by Kelly Barnhill‘s 2016 young reader’s fantasy book, The Girl Who Drank The Moon, which plays with similar themes and tropes that Ward has spoken highly of in the past.
“I want to write against that. I’ve wanted to write a middle grade/YA book for years, a book that might reach the child I once was and expand that child’s sense of self.”
To my knowledge, there has been no news of when either of Ward’s novels will be releasing, but you’d better believe I’ll be ready for whatever she has in store.