2021 National Book Award Winner
The National Best Seller
Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2022 Carnegie Medal Fiction, the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick
One of Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction | One of Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2021 | One of Shelf Awareness' Top 10 Fiction Titles of the Year | One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books | One of NPR.org's "Books We Love" | Entertainment Weekly’s "Guide to the Biggest and Buzziest Books of 2021" | One of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults | San Diego Union Tribune - My Favorite Things from 2021 | Writers Bone's Best Books of 2021 | Atlanta Journal Constitution - Top 10 Southern Books of the Year | One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books You Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" | One of the New York Post's Best Summer Reading books | One of Good Morning America's 27 Books for June | One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming out in the Second Half of 2021 | One of The Root's PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here | One of Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in 2021
An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times best-selling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, 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 Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his best-selling novel. That story line drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent, since 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 build and 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, 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.
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 told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last 10 years. And in its final twists it truly becomes its title.
“It is a story of love and family. It is powerful...poignant and beautiful and what makes me so excited is I cannot wait to be part of these conversations.... It’s a story of race, family, love, and justice. It’s original and Jason Mott is a talent.” (Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna)
"Hell of a Book more than lives up to its title. Playful, searching, raw and necessary, this writing, this voice, this novel twisted me up and turned me inside out, dazzled me, surprised me and moved me." (Charles Yu, author of National Book Award winner Interior Chinatown)
“What a powerful, timely, and provocative novel. Jason's ability to take on deeply important themes with both poignancy and humor makes for an extraordinary emotional roller coaster of a read, and I tore through this profoundly moving novel in a day but have been thinking about it ever since. Thank you, Jason Mott, for sharing this story with the world.” (Abi Daré, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice)