My Monticello Pdf Summary
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.
My Monticello Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope and Failure for Our Wounded Nation
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2022
My review focuses on the final story in this collection: My Monticello, which has had a greater impact on me that anything I’ve read recently. It takes place in a not too distant future. The electric grid is down, and groups of white militants enter communities of color to burn them out of their homes. This tells the story of a diverse group who manage to escape their neighborhood in a mini-bus. Among them is an African American student, Naisha, from the University of Virginia and her grandmother, both decendants of Thomas Jefferson, through his slave Sally Hemmings. In the midst of extreme chaos, it’s Naisha who drives the bus out of the city, and by memory or instinct, takes them to the grounds of Monticello, the estate of Jefferson, which has been preserved as a museum. What ensues is the hopeful part of the story. This diverse group, which includes blacks, whites, immigrants, young and old, figure out how to survive and help each other. They become a family. The heartbreaking part is the unrelenting rage of the white nationalists who continue to rampage throughout the area. While their future looks bleak, Naisha holds onto the hope of eventual reconciliation and unity. It’s up to us to help her hope become a reality.
4.0 out of 5 stars My Monticello (story) is outstanding
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2022
I had mixed feelings about the stories in this collection. Although the author does well with communicating the feelings of the characters in their situations, it was hard to feel connected. I think because Ms. Johnson used anonymous narrators and characters in some stories, it was hard for me to identify with them. There didn’t seem to be enough to hang on to. Because the narrators seemed like characters of their own, there were too many unanswered questions which was unsatisfying to me.
My feelings changed with the story, My Monticello, which I loved. Interesting characters and plot. I wished it were a full book.
I would gladly read another Jocelyn Nicole Johnson book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and powerful
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2022
The words that came to mind were stunning and powerful. Any one who is blessed to read this book (three stories) will feel the emotions, fear, and a glimpse into lives that are impacted by the world we live in. This is a “must read” for everyone as you’ll walk away a changed person.
About Jocelyn Nicole Johnson Author of My Monticello Pdf Book
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is the Author of My Monticello Pdf Book. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Her short story “Control Negro” was anthologized in Best American Short Stories, guest edited by Roxane Gay, and read live by LeVar Burton as part of PRI’s Selected Shorts series. Johnson has been a fellow at Hedgebrook, Tin House Summer Workshops, and VCCA. A veteran public school art teacher, Johnson lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
My Monticello pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (October 5, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250807158
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250807151
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.57 x 0.84 x 9.52 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #900 in Short Stories (Books)
- #1,750 in Black & African American Literature (Books)
- #3,310 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars 596 ratings
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