BOMB THE ROOT: Jesmyn Ward's 'Where the Line Bleeds'

In addition to interviews between artists, BOMB Magazine has a long tradition of publishing new fiction and poetry by established and up-and-coming writers. BOMB Issue 105, Fall 2008 featured an excerpt from Jesmyn Ward's debut novel Where The Line Bleeds. This piece was part of BOMB's Fiction for Driving Across America series, in which authors read their work to be streamed or downloaded on BOMB Magazine’s website. Set in Bois Sauvage, a small Creole town along the Gulf Coast where no one ever leaves and generations of residents stayed "like the oyster shell foundation upon which the county workers packed sand to pave the roads, the communities of Bois Sauvage, both black and white, embedded themselves in the red clay and stayed," Where The Line Bleeds follows twin brothers Josh and Christophe. At the beginning of this passage we meet the two as they sit on the scalding hot railing of a bridge, hours before they are set to graduate high school, contemplating whether they are too old to be seen jumping into the salty river for fun. Read by Jesmyn Ward in her lilting, Mississippi Delta accent--she grew up in Mississippi and until recently, taught at the University of New Orleans—this story speaks beautifully to a raw, romantic, Southern sense of time, childhood, and fraternal love. Listen to the entire recording at BOMB or download a podcast here. Listen to the full recording from BOMB Magazine Issue 105, Fall 2008. Used with permission. All rights reserved. ã BOMB Magazine, New Art Publications, and its Contributors. Buy Where The Line Bleeds

Jesmyn Ward