Suck on the Marrow

Suck on the Marrow is a historical narrative, revolving around six main characters and set in mid-19th century Virginia and Philadelphia. The book traces the experiences of fugitive slaves, kidnapped Northern-born blacks, and free people of color, exploring the interdependence between plantation life and life in Northern and Southern American towns and illuminating the connections between the successes and difficulties of a wide range of Americans, free and slave, black and white, Northern and Southern. This neo-slave narrative treats the truths of lives touched by slavery with reverence but is not afraid to question the ways the old stories have too often been told. In addition to creating new stories, Suck on the Marrow develops new ways of telling those tales.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Camille Dungy’s important new collection, Suck on the Marrow, explores the lives of African Americans in the 19th century, illuminating parts of slave and free black experience that are often overlooked. Plainspoken and unflinching, these poems enter the interior landscapes of the characters’ psyches to examine the nature of desire and longing and loss. With restraint and wry wit, Dungy shows us these things underscored by ownership and commodity. Foregrounding the stories of people for whom fewer records have been left, Suck on the Marrow offers us a fuller view of our collective American experience.”—Natasha Trethewey

“Camille Dungy’s Suck on the Marrow exhumes a troublesome history through imagery and focuses us in the modern psyche. The metaphors are so apt and concrete that we not only witness and experience slavery within an artful frame, but also with all the nerve endings exposed. This collection embraces the act of imagining acutely, whereby imagination becomes almost an action. In fact, Suck on the Marrow plots a path back to the Southern soil, to common people, back to a double-binding pathos of pain and beauty through language.”—Yusef Komunyakaa


Camille Dungy ( Author Website )

Publication Date: April 1, 2010

$18.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 1-59709-468-4

Download the Press Kit Here

News

Suck on the Marrow wins an American Book Award!

Camille Dungy’s Suck on the Marrow has won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation! For those of you keeping score at home, that’s the sixth significant honor this book […]

Suck on the Marrow in the San Francisco Examiner

The San Francisco Examiner's LJ Moore gives Suck on the Marrow a rave review, writing "Suck on the Marrow is ambitious, complex, unflinching, and ultimately welcoming, so that the ugliness, […]

Suck on the Marrow wins the NCBA

Congratulations to Camille Dungy, whose Suck on the Marrow has won the Northern California Book Award! Against some pretty tough competition, might we add. Full list of nominees

Reviews

Praise for Suck on the Marrow

Advance Praise for Suck on the Marrow: “Camille Dungy’s important new collection, Suck on the Marrow, explores the lives of African Americans in the 19th century, illuminating parts of slave […]
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