Scribner will publish a new novel by Jesmyn Ward this fall, the Simon & Schuster imprint announced in a news release.

Ward’s novel, Let Us Descend, will follow Annis, a teenage girl who is sold to a slave market in Louisiana.

Let Us Descend incorporates elements of Dante’s Inferno, magical realism, and slave narratives,” Scribner said. “It is a book about grief, resilience, imagination, and kinship, and stitches the Black American experience into the very land, exploring what lies beyond this world: in our lived experiences and after our deaths.”

Ward is one of the country’s most celebrated novelists. She won the National Book Award for two of her previous novels, Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing; the latter book was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. Her 2013 memoir, Men We Reaped, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and last year she became the youngest person ever to win the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

“I wanted to look at this hard truth from our past, to explore what it would have been like for my character, Annis, to have little to no physical agency over her own body,” Ward said in a statement. “I also wanted to encourage readers to feel with and for Annis, and to recreate her experience as viscerally as possible.”

Let Us Descend is scheduled for publication on Oct. 3.

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.