"The graceful form conceals a gritty subject....Trethewey has a gift for squeezing the contradictions of the South into very tightly controlled lines." - Washington Post Book World
Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, Natasha Trethewey confronts the racial legacy of her native Deep South - where one of the first black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards, was called into service during the Civil War. Trethewey's resonant and beguiling collection is a haunting conversation between personal experience and national history.
"Trethewey serves our profound need for that rare thing-artistically fine Civil War poetry that expresses the ways the war and Reconstruction affect all Americans to this very day. She is our Native Guard." - David Madden, author of Sharpshooter
"[Native Guard] consistently presents Trethewey's belief that history is layered, full of bone and ghosts, and that the poet's job is to penetrate and expose." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A moving testimony." - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Trethewey is sure-handed in her use of language and fearless in confronting her own personal issues." - The Advocate