- Drop (2000)
- Hunting in Harlem (2003)
- Pym (2011)
- Loving Day (2015)
- The Invisible Things (2022)
- Incognegro (2008)
- Dark Rain (2010)
- Right State (2012)
- The Great Negro Plot (2007)
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Mat Johnson Books Overview
A new voice in American fiction recalling the work of Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin, Drop is an irreverent and unforgettable coming of age story about a 31 year old black man who struggles to break out of the ghetto. Chris Jones has a gift for creating desire no doubt a result of his own passion and desire to be anywhere but where he is, to be anyone but himself. He has a knack for creating effective ad campaigns. His work lands him a gig in London. Far away from his Philly roots, Chris is raking in the dough, has a Nigerian girlfriend, a beautiful apartment, and goes clubbing in the West End. He enjoys the role of the successful black American, living among the bourgeois Africans and West Indians of London. No longer afraid of what he calls the ‘Pop pop pop’ of gunfire so prevalent on the streets of his hometown, Chris is finally free. But life takes a turn for the worse, and Chris finds himself back where he started, forced back to Philadelphia where his only job prospect is answering phones at the electrical company, helping the poor pay their heating and lighting bills. Surrounded by his brethren, the down and out, indigent, the hopeless, Chris hits bottom. Only a stroke of inspiration and faith will get him back on his feet. Drop is a funny, moving and ultimately profound tale of a man determined to break the pattern of the ghetto he despises and who, in the process, is forced to come to terms with his hatred for himself.
Gentrification by any means necessary. With the help of new employees Cedric, Bobby, and Horus three ex cons trying to forge a new life Lester Baines’s Horizon Realty is bringing Harlem back to its renaissance. Fate seems to be working in Lester’s favor when Harlem’s undesirable tenants begin to get clumsy and meet early deaths by accident. A deadbeat dad electrocutes himself in the bathtub. A drug dealer takes flight from his fire escape. A pimp is shot dead by police when they mistake his wallet for a handgun. That’s where Horizon steps in. Block by block, Lester and his crew clear out the rubble and the rabble, filling once dilapidated brownstones with black professionals handpicked for their shared vision of Harlem as a shining icon for the race. Rumors of the Chupacabra, a mythical monster claiming the lives of Harlem’s unfortunate, run rampant with Harlem’s youth. But it isn’t until an ambitious reporter begins to investigate the extraordinarily high accident rate in Harlem that Lester starts to get a little nervous about Horizon’s future. For Lester, no cost is too high in protecting Horizon and his vision for restoration. The battle for gentrification and for the souls and very lives of the ex cons plays out on the streets of Harlem and against a backdrop of beautiful Manhattan brownstones. Mat Johnson has created vividly memorable characters and a story that stands out as one of the most controversial and explosive in years. As sure to ignite debate as it is to entertain, Hunting in Harlem is an old fashioned page turner with a fresh and brave voice.
A comic journey into the ultimate land of whiteness by an unlikely band of African American adventurers Recently canned professor of American literature Chris Jaynes is obsessed with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe’s strange and only novel. When he discovers the manuscript of a crude slave narrative that seems to confirm the reality of Poe s fiction, he resolves to seek out Tsalal, the remote island of pure and utter blackness that Poe describes with horror. Jaynes imagines it to be the last untouched bastion of the African Diaspora and the key to his personal salvation. He convenes an all black crew of six to follow Pym s trail to the South Pole in search of adventure, natural resources to exploit, and, for Jaynes at least, the mythical world of the novel. With little but the firsthand account from which Poe derived his seafaring tale, a bag of bones, and a stash of Little Debbie snack cakes, Jaynes embarks on an epic journey under the permafrost of Antarctica, beneath the surface of American history, and behind one of literature s great mysteries. He finds that here, there be monsters.
Writer Mat Johnson HELLBLAZER: PAPA MIDNITE, winner of the prestigious Hurston Wright Legacy Award for fiction, constructs a fearless graphic novel that is both a page turning mystery and a disturbing exploration of race and self image in America, masterfully illustrated with rich period detail by Wareen Pleece THE INVISIBLES, HELLBLAZER.
In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African American men who, due to their light skin color, could ‘pass’ among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going ‘Incognegro.’
Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York based New Holland Herald barely escapes with his life after his latest ‘Incognegro‘ story goes bad. But when he returns to the sanctuary of Harlem, he’s sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi.
With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay ‘Incognegro‘ long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother and himself. He finds that the answers are buried beneath layers of shifting identities, forbidden passions and secrets that run far deeper than skin color.
In the days after Hurricane Katrina, two men who fell through society’s cracks travel to evacuate New Orleans to pull off the bank heist of a lifetime. Up against the clock and eluding armed competitors, the men find themselves in the middle of one of the greatest humanitarian disasters in American history. All around them, the institutions that form the pillars of our society are falling apart. Surrounded by death and misery, the men face a moral challenge greater than any other obstacle they’ve had to overcome. Is it possible to beat the system, even when it lies in ruins? Can they save even one person or themselves? Or will those institutions come crashing down right on top of them?From the Hardcover edition.
In 1741, New York City was thrown into an uproar when a sixteen year old white woman, an indentured servant named Mary Burton, testified that she was privy to a monstrous conspiracy against the white people of Manhattan. Promised her freedom by authorities if she would only uncover the plot, Mary reported that the black men of the city were planning to burn New York City to the ground. As the courts ensnared more and more suspects and violence swept the city, 154 black New Yorkers were jailed, 14 were burned alive, 18 were hanged, and more than 100 simply ‘disappeared’; four whites wound up being executed and 24 imprisoned. Even as the madness escalated, however, officials started to realize that Mary Burton might not be telling the truth. Expertly written by the acclaimed author of Drop and Hunting in Harlem, The Great Negro Plot is a brilliant reconstruction of a little known moment in American history whose echoes still reverberate today.