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My Monticello: Fiction

By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

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.

 “A badass debut by any measure―nimble, knowing, and electrifying.”

―Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Nickel Boys and Harlem Shuffle


“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 stories of astonishing range and each one explores what it means to live in a world that is at once home and not. She dissects the unbearable burdens of such displacement. The crowning glory of this collection is the title story, a novella about a world that has fallen apart and a small band of people who take refuge in Monticello, among the old ghosts of the former plantation, how they become family, and how they try to make a stand for their lives, for the world the way it once was. This collection is absolutely unforgettable and Johnson's prose soars to remarkable heights.”

―Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Hunger and Ayiti


“I was enthralled from the opening lines of this book. These chilling, thought-provoking and expertly crafted stories showcase Johnson’s range and ability―they broke my heart as well as my brain. A stunning collection.”

―Charles Yu, National Book Award-winning author of Interior Chinatown


My Monticello is a magnificent debut that holds so much in its gaze―great love and great oppression, tremendous individual courage and systemic racism, futures of joyful justice and futures of extremism. This breathtaking, artful book is a gift.”

―Megha Majumdar, New York Times bestselling author of A Burning


“With Virginia as the heart, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson brings to life a body of stories sustained by a cast of characters so unique, sincere, and determined that you will not only root for them, but see your own humanity reflected back. A collection where hope serves as the connective tissue, My Monticello reaffirms our deepest desires for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while examining the soil of our nation and the fruit it bears.”

―Mateo Askaripour, New York Times bestselling author of Black Buck