Books

Mudbound

Hillary Jordan

** Oscar Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song and Best Cinematography **

Now a Netflix original movie, starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell & Mary J. Blige

‘A masterly, meaningful tale from America’s divided past … This is a giant of a story.’ Guardian

‘A sweeping, often spellbinding epic of cinematic storytelling that runs right up against the definition of masterpiece.’ The Times

Mudbound is poised to break serious ground … what makes [Rees’s] ensemble movie remarkable … is that every character is so richly defined and rounded … A wonderfully assured blend of sweeping period melodrama and small, telling moments, it’s a world you want to spend more time inside.’ Metro

‘[Rees] arranges her symbols with a rich sense of cinematic and literary tradition.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Dee Rees’s rich, absorbing story set in pre- and postwar Mississippi and based on Hillary Jordan’s novel is beautifully directed and performed.’ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

When Henry McAllan moves his city-bred wife, Laura, to a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, she finds herself in a place both foreign and frightening. Henry's love of rural life is not shared by Laura, who struggles to raise their two young children in an isolated shotgun shack under the eye of her hateful, racist father-in-law. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud.

As the Second World War shudders to an end, two young men return from Europe to help work the farm. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not and is sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the farm, comes home from war with the shine of a hero, only to face far more dangerous battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. These two unlikely friends become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.

Biography

Hillary Jordan is the author of two novels: MUDBOUND (2008) and WHEN SHE WOKE (2011), as well as the digital short “Aftermirth” (2012).

MUDBOUND won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize debut novels of social justice, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was a 2013 World Book Night selection, and PASTE Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade. WHEN SHE WOKE was one of BookPage’s Best Books of 2011, a Booklist Editor’s Choice for Best Fiction of 2011 and a Lamda Award finalist. Both novels were long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. They have been translated into 10 languages.

Hillary received her BA from Wellesley College in 1984 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2004. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.