NC's Jason Mott takes a surreal trip through tragic subject matter in 'Hell of a Book'
Jason Mott, who grew up in and still lives in the little town of Bolton in southeastern North Carolina, recently won the National Book Award in fiction. His book is called “Hell of a Book.” It lives up to its title.
It jumps from funny to surreal tragic from page to page as Mott tells the story of a writer much like himself who goes on a disorienting book tour and finds himself shadowed by a young boy who might be alive, dead or a figment of the writer’s imagination.
And there’s a parallel story about a Black family’s struggle to believe that America is not a dangerous place for a Black family to be.
This is Mott’s fourth novel. His first, “The Returned,” was made into a TV series called “Resurrection” that aired on ABC for two seasons. We talked about writing cinematically, about how “Hell of a Book” helped him confront his own past … and also about two American icons: Nicolas Cage and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
This was quite a ride.
- "Hell of a Book"
- Mott's National Book Award acceptance speech
- A trailer for the TV series "Resurrection," based on his book "The Returned"
- Just in case you've never seen "The Dukes of Hazzard"
Other music in this episode
Lobo Loco, "Country Boy" and "Miracle Tour"