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Let Us Descend

Let Us Descend

by Jesmyn Ward

Publish Date
October 2023

'Gripping, mythic, bone-pulverising ... A spectacular achievement'

'Jesmyn Ward is one of the greatest writers of all time. And Let Us Descend, once again, proves it'

'Transcendent ... The best book I've read in years'

'Stunning ... Will grip you from the first word to the last'


The first weapon I ever held was my mother's hand.
On a slave plantation in the Carolinas, Annis has survived in the light of her mother's resilience, comforted by stories of her African warrior grandmother. Everything she knows, she learned from her mother how to fight, how to be strong, how to grow up in a world shrouded in darkness.
When she is sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, Annis must venture onward through the rich but unforgiving landscapes of the American South alone- from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans, and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. Searching for relief in memories of her mother, she opens herself to a world beyond her own, teeming with spirits of earth, water, history and myth.
A reimagining of American slavery as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching, Let Us Descend offers a magnificent portrait of the strength of the human spirit and its ability to emerge from darkness into light. This is a story of beauty, love, rebirth and reclamation a masterwork for the ages.
Praise for Sing, Unburied, Sing
'A must' Margaret Atwood
'I am a huge fan of Jesmyn Ward's work, and this book proves that she is one of the most important writers in America today' Ann Patchett
'Ward is a lyrical, visceral storyteller' Daily Mail
'A visceral and intimate drama that plays out like a grand epic - Staggering' Marlon James
'A searing, urgent read' Celeste Ng

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