Author(s): Hillary Jordan
The International Bestseller
Now a major motion picture from Netflix, directed by Dee Rees, nominated in four categories for the Academy Awards.
In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm--a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not--charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.
The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Barbara Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still."
"This is storytelling at the height of its powers: the ache of wrongs not yet made right, the fierce attendance of history made as real as rain, as true as this minute. Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm" -- Barbara Kingsolver "A page-turning read that conveys a serious message without preaching" * Observer * "Blatant injustice is heartbreakingly brought to life by Hillary Jordan in her debut novel...A tale that has echoes of the novels of John Steinbeck and Alice Walker...The varied viewpoints allow for an intimate insight into each character's thoughts and motivations that enriches the novel" * Glasgow Herald * "Jordan builds the tension slowly and meticulously, so that when the shocking denouement arrives, it is both inevitable and devastating...A compelling tale" * Glasgow Herald *
Hillary Jordan is the author of two novels: MUDBOUND (2008) and WHEN SHE WOKE (2011), as well as the digital short "Aftermirth" (2012). MUDBOUND won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize debut novels of social justice, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was a 2013 World Book Night selection, and PASTE Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade. WHEN SHE WOKE was one of BookPage's Best Books of 2011, a Booklist Editor's Choice for Best Fiction of 2011 and a Lamda Award finalist. Both novels were long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. They have been translated into 10 languages. Hillary received her BA from Wellesley College in 1984 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2004. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.