My Monticello

My Monticello

by

, 2021, audiobook, overdrive, netgalley, subj-blm, netgalley-edelweiss, fiction, current-events, 2021-su-rcc, debuts, 2021-pub, literary-fiction, contemporary, by-women, fave-2021-reads, black-authors, black-experience, netgalley, new-release, Short Stories, Fiction, Historical, Race, Literary Fiction, Audiobook, Adult, Adult Fiction, Cultural

A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studying racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America.

Tough-minded, vulnerable, and brave, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s precisely imagined debut explores burdened inheritances and extraordinary pursuits of belonging. Set in the near future, the eponymous novella, “My Monticello,” tells of a diverse group of Charlottesville neighbors fleeing violent white supremacists. Led by Da’Naisha, a young Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, they seek refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home in a desperate attempt to outlive the long-foretold racial and environmental unravelling within the nation.

In “Control Negro,” hailed by Roxane Gay as “one hell of story,” a university professor devotes himself to the study of racism and the development of ACMs (average American Caucasian males) by clinically observing his own son from birth in order to “painstakingly mark the route of this Black child too, one whom I could prove was so strikingly decent and true that America could not find fault in him unless we as a nation had projected it there.” Johnson’s characters all seek out home as a place and an internal state, whether in the form of a Nigerian widower who immigrates to a meager existence in the city of Alexandria, finding himself adrift; a young mixed-race woman who adopts a new tongue and name to escape the landscapes of rural Virginia and her family; or a single mother who seeks salvation through “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse.”

United by these characters’ relentless struggles against reality and fate, My Monticello is a formidable book that bears witness to this country’s legacies and announces the arrival of a wildly original new voice in American fiction.

Title:My Monticello
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781250807151
Format Type:

    My Monticello Reviews

  • Roxane

    It is a rare breed of writer who can tell any kind of story and do so with exquisite deftness. Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is one such writer. Her debut collection, My Monticello, is comprised of six stori...

  • lark benobi

    What brave writing--for its willingness to seek the perfect form and the perfect word with which to tell these stories, even if it means telling the story in a non-standard way. Roxane Gay has already...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Audiobook….read by a full cast …..7 hours and 36 minutes The audiobook theatrics were outstanding…with narrative that held my attention easily. Racism is in every story. Other issues are explor...

  • Faith

    This is a collection of 5 unrelated short stories and a novella. While I liked all of them, I thought the standout was the first, “Control Negro” a sharp satire that made me cry. Written in the fo...

  • Ceecee

    Monticello is a Palladian mansion in Charlottesville, Virginia, the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson who is estimated to have had about 130 slaves there. This includes Sally Hemings, a biracial ...

  • Andrew Smith

    For me a short story lives or dies on its plot, this either catches me or the story simply passes me by. On the other hand I enjoy novels the most when strong character development meets great dialogu...

  • Kasa Cotugno

    Much has been written about the horrifying impact of toxic tRumpism and its unleashing of buried racist hatreds, but never so potently. That's all I can say about these stories, each of which left me ...

  • luce

    | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | “I remember looking out at all those people, most of whom I'd seen or known over months or years—several of whom I loved. Everybody was yelling or cowering or sneer...

  • Roman Clodia

    This is a powerful indictment of present-day America and its racial politics, and Johnson imbues it with passion and fire. All the same, for such a short piece, a long short story or novella, there ar...

  • Kristy

    If you buy one book in October, it should be this one. MY MONTICELLO is a collection of short stories and a novella that explore race, identity, and more. Beautifully written, nuanced, and insightful,...