Congratulations to Jesmyn Ward, who received the National Book Award last night for her extraordinary novel Salvage the Bones. Her debut story, "Cattle Haul," appeared in APS 5, a new story, "Barefoot," in APS 14. We wrote about Salvage here, Ron Charles reviewed it here, and you can hear her read from the novel here.
It’s easier driving through the country, especially when you doing a cattle haul. Two lanes on one side and two lanes on the other. Switch lanes and pass. At night, like now, the signs sharp and clear. The trees like waves at the side of the road, all black and blue, coming in and going back out like a tide. Ain’t no lights to distract me, to crowd up around me. Just taillights, red lights, like ants, leading me in a line westward. —Read on.