Jason Mott's Hell Of A Book Wins The National Book Awards 2021 For Fiction
"Hell of a Book", they said, and the praise turned into the book title of the National Book Awards 2021 winner for fiction.
Yesterday Jason Mott's novel Hell of a Book was announced the winner of the most prestigious US literary prize by beating the other four novels from the shortlist, including Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land, Lauren Groff's Matrix, Laird Hunt's Zorrie, Robert Jones's Jr. The Prophets.
In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and 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.
“I’d like to dedicate this award to all the other mad kids, to all the outsiders, the weirdos, the bullied, the ones so strange that they had no choice but to be misunderstood by the world and by those around them,” Jason Mott stressed in his award acceptance speech.
Jason Mott became famous after his debut novel The Returned has been published in 2013. It was adapted for TV as the series titled Resurrection. He also wrote The Wonder of All Things and The Crossing before before the now award-winning Hell of a Book.
Last year Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown has become the winner for the National Book Award for fiction.
The winner of the National Book Award 2021 for Nonfiction was announced Tiya Miles and her book All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Malinda Lo's Last Night at the Telegraph Club for Young People's Literature, Martín Espada's Floaters for Poetry and Winter in Sokcho written by Elisa Shua Dusapin and translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins from French to English for Translated Literature.