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Author Jesmyn Ward has lived all over but keeps returning to DeLisle, Miss

Published 04/29/2012, Los Angeles Times/ MCT

Jesmyn Ward was struggling. Despite two master’s degrees and five years of work experience, her job situation was difficult: She commuted an hour each way to a low-paying college teaching job. In her writing career, things were even worse. She sent out stories and got back rejection letters. Her agent tried and failed, and tried again, to sell her book. On Nov. 16, 2011, the not-quite nursing student’s “Salvage the Bones,” a novel about a poor African-American family whose rural Mississippi home stands in the path of Hurricane Katrina, won the National Book Award for fiction. Because of the award’s prominence, her publisher Bloomsbury ordered an additional 50,000 copies the very next day, tripling its print run.

Word count: 1295

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