Tuesday, 12:30 pm EDT July 20, 2021
Online via Zoom
Jason Mott promises a Hell of a Book in his latest work of fiction. Hell of a Book is the story of a bestselling Black author who tours the nation promoting his latest book amidst a fatal police shooting run over and over on news stations across the country. As Mott’s story unfolds, the various characters converge in a conclusion that reveals the costs of racism and police violence on Black Americans and America as a whole. To discuss his new work, Mott will join Mateo Askaripour, whose debut novel Black Buck was published in January 2021.
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Jason Mott has published three previous novels. His first novel, The Returned, was a New York Times bestseller and was turned into a TV series that ran for two seasons. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary journals.
Mateo Askaripour’s work aims to empower people of color to seize opportunities for advancement, no matter the obstacle. He was chosen as one of Entertainment Weekly’s “10 rising stars to make waves in 2021,” a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. His debut novel Black Buck was an instant New York Times bestseller and a Read With Jenna Today Show book club pick. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.
Hell of a Book
By Jason Mott
Published by Dutton
An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author, always deeply honest and at times electrically funny, 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, an African-American author sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives the novel and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since the 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.
Throughout, these characters’ stories build and build and as they converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art, and money, there always is the tragic story of a police shooting playing over and over on the news.
Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably powerful, an electrifying high-wire act, ideal for book clubs and the book Mott says he has been writing in his head for ten years, Hell of a Book in its final twists truly becomes its title.
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