Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

My Monticello
  • My Monticello

  • 'ELECTRIFYING' Colson Whitehead
    'ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE' Roxane Gay

    At a time of rolling blackouts and terrible storms battering America, the neighbourhood of First Street, Charlottesville comes under attack by violent white supremacists. A group of friends, families and strangers flee together in an abandoned bus and head for the hills above town.

    Led by Da'Naisha Love, they arrive at Monticello, the historic plantation-home of Thomas Jefferson, deserted but for its ghosts. As a young Black descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Da'Naisha has a complex relationship with the house. Tentative at first, the group explores rooms, forages on the grounds, and finds a kind of shelter. But the terror from their town is coming closer, and soon they have an impossible decision to make.

    My Monticello is the story of nineteen heart-stopping days of refuge and reclamation, told by Da'Naisha with courage and with grace. This deeply moving novel is a searing indictment of racism past and present, and a powerful vision of resistance, community and hope.

    'ONE OF THE FINEST NOVELS OF 2021 and A FUTURE CLASSIC' The Bookseller

    Early readers love My Monticello (reviews from NetGalley):
    'So much to love... A truly astonishing debut' *****
    'What an incredible voice she has' *****
    'Deserves the praise heaped upon it' *****
    'Johnson's writing is vivid and bold' ****
    'The end is terrific, terrifying and mind blowing' ****
    'Raw, powerful and a great contemporary voice' ****
    'Definitely deserves a spot on your reading list' ****

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, the Guardian, Shenandoah, Phoebe, Prime Number, and elsewhere. In addition to the Best American Short Stories 2018 anthology, her work has been read live by LeVar Burton and broadcast as part of PRI's Selected Shorts series. She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Tin House, and VCAA. Johnson lives and teaches art to public-school children in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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