Salvage the Bones

10 best books like Salvage the Bones (Jesmyn Ward): The Underground Railroad, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Gathering of Waters, The Taste of Salt, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, The News from Paraguay, Morte D'Urban, Lord of Misrule, Long Division, Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories

AuthorColson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad,...
AuthorMaria Semple
Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox...
AuthorBernice L. McFadden

Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant...
AuthorMartha Southgate
Award-winning novelist Martha Southgate (who, in the words of Julia Glass, can write fat and hot, then lush and tender, then just plain truthful and burning with heart) now tells the story of a family pushed to its limits by addiction over the course of two generations.

Josie Henderson loves...
AuthorDanielle Evans
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers a bold new perspective on the experience of being young and African-American or mixed-race in modern-day America. In each of her stories, Danielle Evans explores the non-white American experience with honesty, wisdom, and humor. They are striking in...
AuthorLily Tuck
The year is l854. In Paris, Francisco Solano -- the future dictator of Paraguay -- begins his courtship of the young, beautiful Irish courtesan Ella Lynch with a poncho, a Paraguayan band, and a horse named Mathilde. Ella follows Franco to Asunción and reigns there as his mistress. Isolated and estranged...
AuthorJ.F. Powers
Winner of The 1963 National Book Award for Fiction.

The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urban, a man of the cloth who is also a man of the world. Charming, with an expansive vision of the spiritual life and a high tolerance for moral ambiguity, Urban enjoys a national reputation...
AuthorJaimy Gordon
A brilliant novel that captures the dusty, dark, and beautiful world of small-time horse racing, where trainers, jockeys, grooms and grifters vie for what little luck is offered at a run-down West Virginia track .

Tommy Hansel has a plan: run four horses, all better than they look on paper,...
AuthorKiese Laymon
Kiese Laymon’s debut novel is a Twain-esque exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in Post-Katrina Mississippi, written in a voice that’s alternately funny, lacerating, and wise. The book contains two interwoven stories. In the first, it’s 2013: after...
AuthorEllen Gilchrist
This book was recommended to me last summer by a former teacher who is also an Episcopalian minister. In December, I entered a "Secret Santa" drawing involving alumni of my alma mater (Grinnell College whaaaaat) and, per statistical probability, drew a woman I'd never met (Which is a good thing! This...
AuthorEdith Pearlman





In this sumptuous offering, one of our premier storytellers provides a feast for fiction...
AuthorPeter Matthiessen
Peter Matthiessen’s great American epic–Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man’s River, and Bone by Bone–was conceived as one vast mysterious novel, but because of its length it was originally broken up into three books. In this bold new rendering, Matthiessen has cut nearly a third of the overall...
AuthorJohn O'Hara
Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara

There is here, in the biography of Joe Chapin, nothing that could not have been seen or heard by the people whose lives were touched by Joe Chapin’s life. Whatever he thought, whatever he felt has always been expressed to or through someone else, and the...
AuthorNathacha Appanah
In The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah, 1944 is coming to a close and nine-year-old Raj is unaware of the war devastating the rest of the world. He lives in Mauritius, a remote island in the Indian Ocean, where survival is a daily struggle for his family. When a brutal beating lands Raj in the hospital of...
AuthorIsaac Bashevis Singer
It's been nearly 30 years since I last looked at this excellent collection of short stories, but some of them still visit my thoughts regularly. My favorite is the guy who seduces his neighbor by turning up in her bedroom one night and saying that he's a demon from Hell. It's pitch black, and she's not sure...
AuthorWright Morris
Winner of the National Book Award

"Wright Morris seems to me the most important novelist of the American middle generation. Through a large body of work —which, unaccountably, has yet to receive the wide attention it deserves— Mr. Morris has adhered to standards which we have come to identify...
AuthorMary Lee Settle
In a novel that begins with accidental death and ends with deliberate murder, Mary Lee Settle tells the story of an eclectic collection of American and European expatriates who take refuge in an ancient Turkish city and, once there, wreak havoc on the Aegean paradise. At first the characters appear...
AuthorConrad Richter
From the time of its first publication in 1960, Conrad Richter's The Waters of Kronos sparked lively debate about the extent to which its story of a belated return to childhood scenes mirrored key events of Richter's own life. As was well known at the time, Richter had spent several years in the Southwest,...
AuthorThornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder’s renowned 1967 National Book Award–winning novel features a foreword by John Updike and an afterword by Tappan Wilder, who draws on such unique sources as Wilder’s unpublished letters, handwritten annotations in the margins of the book, and other illuminating documentary...
AuthorBrooke Hauser
Some walked across deserts and mountains to get here. Others flew in on planes. One arrived after escaping in a suitcase. And some won’t say how they got here.These are “the new kids”: new to America and all the routines and rituals of an American high school, from lonely first days to prom. They...
AuthorAndrew Krivak
The Sojourn is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser’s...
AuthorMitchell S. Jackson
Mitchell S. Jackson grew up black in a neglected neighborhood in America’s whitest city, Portland, Oregon. In the ’90s, those streets and beyond had fallen under the shadow of crack cocaine and its familiar mayhem. In his commanding autobiographical novel, Mitchell writes what it was to come...
AuthorDana Johnson
We first met Avery in two of the stories featured in Dana Johnson’s award-winning collection Break Any Woman Down. As a young girl, she and her family escape the violent streets of Los Angeles to a more gentrified existence in suburban West Covina. This average life, filled with school, trips to 7-Eleven...
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