A New York Times Bestselling Author In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. But why? As she began to write about living through all the dying, Jesmyn realized the truth ? and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle.