You’re invited to join us as we talk to New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott about his recent novel Hell of a Book. This magnificent work of fiction is deeply honest, at times electrically funny, and is a book that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole.
In Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. While this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.
About the Author: Jason Mott is the author of two poetry collections and four novels. His first novel, The Returned, was adapted for television and aired on ABC under the title “Resurrection.” Since then, his novels that followed have received various accolades and acclaim. His most recent novel, Hell of a Book, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction Winner, was a Carnegie Medals For Excellence Longlist nominee, and the winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction. He lives in hermitude in Southeastern North Carolina.