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  • Published: 4 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473594555
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

My Monticello

A searing novel, a powerful call for collectivism, and one of the biggest American debuts of 2021

'Riveting' Guardian
'Electrifying' Colson Whitehead

When the world collapses, where will you run?

After rolling blackouts and epic storms engulf America, the neighbourhood of First Street, Charlottesville comes under attack by violent white supremacists. A small group of families, friends and strangers flee for their lives, taking refuge in Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's historic plantation home in the hills above the town.

Over nineteen heart-stopping days the group, led by Da'Naisha Love - a young Black descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings - find ways to survive as the world burns beneath them. But with the terror below coming closer, they must decide how far they're willing to go to protect what's theirs . . .

'Absolutely unforgettable' Roxane Gay
'Stunning' Mail on Sunday

  • Published: 4 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473594555
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the author

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, the Guardian, Shenandoah, Phoebe, Prime Number, and elsewhere. In addition to the Best American Short Stories 2018 anthology, her work has been read live by LeVar Burton and broadcast as part of PRI's Selected Shorts series. She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Tin House, and VCAA. Johnson lives and teaches art to public-school children in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Praise for My Monticello

My Monticello is a magnificent debut that holds so much in its gaze. This breathtaking, artful book is a gift

Megha Majumdar, New York Times bestselling author of A BURNING

I was enthralled from the opening lines of this book. Stunning

Charles Yu, National Book Award-winning author of INTERIOR CHINATOWN

This is a stunning debut by a brilliant and original new voice

Danielle Evans, award-winning author of THE OFFICE OF HISTORICAL CORRECTIONS

A badass debut by any measure - nimble, knowing, and electrifying

Colson Whitehead, twice-Pulitzer Prize winning author of THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD and THE NICKEL BOYS

Absolutely unforgettable. Johnson's prose soars to remarkable heights

Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of HUNGER and AYITI

Riveting storytelling. This incandescent work speaks not just to the moment, but to history

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Johnson's debut book is stellar

Kirkus (starred review)

An electric new literary voice


Unputdownable... Extraordinarily powerful... One of the finest books of 2021 and a future classic

The Bookseller, Book of the Month

A powerful and beautiful read

Nina Pottell, Prima

An extraordinary debut from a gifted writer with an unflinching view of history and what may come of it.

Washington Post

Johnson is a great observer. The novel is full of stunningly precise figurative language... [it's] utterly absorbing...a meditation of how the brutal past of slavery still has a potent legacy in contemporary America; it also portrays the redemptive powers of love and care

Tomiwa Owolade, Daily Telegraph

This powerful and memorable book is a must-read

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

A powerful, thought-provoking novel

Sarra Manning, Red

[A] tenderly rendered apocalyptic novella... Johnson is an unusually sensitive writer, combining a mood of impending doom with language of soulful beauty

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

This brief, brilliant gut-punch of a novel is frighteningly plausible... Lush, harrowing, and entirely believable - a marvel of economy

Paul Connolly, Metro

My Monticello is short, satisfying and punchy: more debuts should be like this

John Self, The Times


Eithne Farry, Mail on Sunday

Chilling, affecting and intelligent

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

This brief, brilliant gut-punch of a novel is frighteningly plausible

Paul Connolly, Metro, *Christmas Gift Guide 2021*

My Monticello is a bleak story but reading it elicits the same kind of sensation that comes from listening to a poignant blues song: there is pleasure in its creation without denying the pain of the subject

Colin Grant, Guardian

A history lesson, a fable, an inquiry into the nature of historic monuments, a heartfelt tale of community and above all a nail-biting story.


Beautifully written with unforgettable characters... My Monticello is an unforgettable and thought-provoking novella that will unsettle you to your core.