Ramycia McGhee, professor of English at Linn-Benton Community College, will review "Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward, at noon on Wednesday  at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library as part of the Random Review program.

Sing, Unburied, Sing is Ward’s second novel to win a National Book Award for fiction. The family in this sensitive drama lives in rural Mississippi. An African- American mother with serious drug problems is taking her 13 year-old son, Jojo, and toddler daughter, Kayla, who live with her parents, on a road trip to pick up the children’s white father who is being released from the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

The truest and exquisitely rendered family interaction in this story is the loving, nurturing relationship between the big brother and his little sister. There is an affecting touch of the supernatural in appearances by two ghosts. Ward’s beautiful writing makes this heartbreaking novel not only bearable but enriching to read.

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McGhee hails from Chicago. She holds a bachelor's from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in broadcast journalism and a minor in race and ethnic cultures. Her master's in journalism is from Roosevelt University where she worked in radio and print media. She received her doctorate in education leadership management from Capella University.

McGhee is an alum of Public Allies Chicago, an Americorps Program. Before coming to LBCC she was an English professor at the City Colleges of Chicago. McGhee is a 2019 recipient of the Oregon State University’s Black Excellence Award. 

Up next: In next month's program, on March 13, food writer and artist Jan Roberts-Dominguez will review “What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories” by Laura Shapiro.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.