Jason Mott delivers 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 joined Mateo Askaripour, whose debut novel Black Buck was published in January 2021.
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.