Jesmyn Ward (born April 1, 1977) is an American novelist and an associate professor of English at Tulane University. She won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction for her second novel Salvage the Bones. She also received a 2012 Alex Award for the story about familial love and community covering the 10 days preceding Hurricane Katrina, the day of the cyclone, and the day after. Prior to her appointment at Tulane, Ward was an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. From 2008 to 2010, Ward had a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She was the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2010–2011 academic year. Ward joined the faculty at Tulane in the fall of 2014. In 2013, she released her memoir Men We Reaped. In 2017, she was the recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. That same year, she received a second National Book Award for her third novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, which made her the first woman to win two National Book Awards for Fiction. The novel also won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.