Books & Lunch on Tuesday

Hell of a Book: A Novel

By Jason Mott

Tuesday, April 11th

Mott’s stunning fourth novel (after The Crossing) delves into the complex and fraught African American experience. The protagonist, a nameless Black author on his first book tour, is reeling from his newfound fame and the success of his book, Hell of a Book. As he flies to promotional events, often in a drunken stupor, the author reveals that his vivid imagination makes it difficult for him to distinguish reality from fiction. So when he encounters “The Kid,” a 10-year-old boy with impossibly ebony skin, the author doubts the boy is real. The Kid, who uncannily resembles a recent victim of police violence, first appears at a hotel and continues to pop up during the book tour, leading the author to recall his own repressed trauma as a bullied Black boy in North Carolina. The author’s sobering recollections of his youth are punctuated with humorous and insightful encounters that include a discussion on national sociopolitical identity with Nicolas Cage and an improbable first date with a funeral director. Mott’s poetic, cinematic novel tackles what it means to live in a country where Black people perpetually “live lives under the hanging sword of fear.” Absurdist metafiction doesn’t get much better.

This book discussion program is HYBRID. We will meet in the library but you may also attend via Zoom. Email Mike at for an invitation or more information.

Where: Howe Library & Zoom
Room: Murray Room
When: 12:00pm-1:00pm

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