The world doesn't require you Stories

Rion Amilcar Scott

Book - 2019

"One of Esquire's Most Anticipated Books of 2019 Breathtakingly imaginative and unapologetically original, The World Doesn't Require You announces a bold, generational talent. Deftly spinning genres of his feverish literary invention, Rion Amilcar Scott creates his very own Yoknapatawpha County with fictional Cross River, Maryland. Established by the leaders of America's only successful slave revolt, the town still evokes the fierce rhythms of its founding. Among its resident...s are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God's last son; Tyrone, a ruthless PhD candidate, whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who serves his Master. Culminating with an explosive novella, these haunting stories of the denizens of Cross River serve to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love--all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism. Shattering rigid literary boundaries, Scott is "a necessary voice in American literature" (PEN Award citation), a writer whose storytelling gifts the world very much requires"--

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Scott Rion
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Scott Rion Checked In
Genres
Short stories
Published
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
304 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781631495380
1631495380
Main Author
Rion Amilcar Scott (author)
  • David Sherman, the last son of God
  • Nigger knockers
  • Electric joy of service
  • Temple of practical arts
  • Rare and powerful employee
  • Numbers
  • Loudness of screechers
  • Mercury in retrograde
  • On the occasion of the death of Freddie Lee
  • Slim in hell.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Reminiscent of classic isolated-world fantasies like The Martian Chronicles (1950) and Kirinyaga (1998), Scott's linked-story collection, following his prize-winning Insurrections (2016), imagines the all-Black town of Cross River, peopled by descendants of the only successful slave revolt in U.S. history (a fine bit of fantasy right there). The Cross Riverians treasure their communal folklore, including a tormented poet, haunted woods, carnivorous "screecher birds," and the treacherous Water Women "rising naked from the depths, shifting forms to tantalize and then to crush." Equally terrifying is the adjacent all-white town of Port Yooga, which haunts the Cross Riverians in ways that feel uncomfortably familiar. Cross River denizens include robotic slaves infected with the murderous rage of rebellion, except for one with "a patch to block the disease of history. Go on being content." Riverbeat artists vie for dominance at The Temple, a place of musical worship and obsession. "Insurrection Day" is a time for mastering the "bluestream," an out-of-body experience in which escaping slaves could literally turn themselves into smoke. Scott's themes of black cultural paranoia and the destabilizing power of art, sexuality, and racial trauma combine in "Special Topics in Loneliness Studies," in which two alienated professors at Freedman University pursue a self-destructive assault on academic hypocrisy. Scott's imagery and unique voice blend horror, satire, and magical realism into an intoxicating brew. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Scott follows up Insurrections, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, with another story collection set in fictional Cross River, MD, founded by the leaders of a triumphant slave revolt. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In 11 stories and a novella, Scott returns to the setting of his debut collection, Insurrections: fictional Cross River, Md., which, in an alternate history, is the location of the only successful slave revolt in America. Most stories are set in the present day; the prose is energetic and at times humorous—often uncomfortably so—as stories interrogate racist tropes. "The Electric Joy of Service" and "Mercury in Retrograde" recast the history of master, slave, and revolt in stories about intelligent robots designed with the facial features of lawn jockeys that fail to behave as programmed. In "David Sherman, the Last Son of God," David, the last (and least exalted) son of God, tries to redeem himself by leading a gospel band at his elder brother's church. And in the concluding novella, "Special Topics in Loneliness Studies," set at Cross River's historically black Freedman's University, the narrator plots the downfall of his departmental colleague, whose course syllabus and writing assignments grow increasingly entangled with his personal life. Throughout, the characters' experiences contrast the relative safety of Cross River with the more hostile ground of the once-segregated towns that surround it. It's clear, however, that threats—whether they're siren-like water-women, academic saboteurs, or brutal family traditions—can arise anywhere. Scott's bold and often outlandish imagination makes for stories that may be difficult to define, but whose emotional authenticity is never once in doubt. (Aug.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This collection of short stories, set in fictional Cross River, Maryland, includes the tales of a struggling musician who is God’s last son and a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation about a childhood game sparks a riot in a once-segregated town.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"One of Esquire's Most Anticipated Books of 2019 Breathtakingly imaginative and unapologetically original, The World Doesn't Require You announces a bold, generational talent. Deftly spinning genres of his feverish literary invention, Rion Amilcar Scott creates his very own Yoknapatawpha County with fictional Cross River, Maryland. Established by the leaders of America's only successful slave revolt, the town still evokes the fierce rhythms of its founding. Among its residents are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God's last son; Tyrone, a ruthless PhD candidate, whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who serves his Master. Culminating with an explosive novella, these haunting stories of the denizens of Cross River serve to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love--all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism. Shattering rigid literary boundaries, Scott is "a necessary voice in American literature" (PEN Award citation), a writer whose storytelling gifts the world very much requires"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A collection of short stories set in fictional Cross River, Maryland includes the tales of a struggling musician who is God's last son and a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation about a childhood game sparks a riot in a once-segregated town.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

One of Esquire's Most Anticipated Books of 2019Breathtakingly imaginative and unapologetically original, The World Doesn’t Require You announces a bold, generational talent.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Established by the leaders of the country’s only successful slave revolt in the mid-nineteenth century, Cross River still evokes the fierce rhythms of its founding. In lyrical prose and singular dialect, a saga beats forward that echoes the fables carried down for generations—like the screecher birds who swoop down for their periodic sacrifice, and the water women who lure men to wet deaths.Among its residents—wildly spanning decades, perspectives, and species—are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God’s last son; Tyrone, a ruthless PhD candidate, whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who serves his Master. As the book builds to its finish with Special Topics in Loneliness Studies, a fully-realized novella, two unhinged professors grapple with hugely different ambitions, and the reader comes to appreciate the intricacy of the world Scott has created—one where fantasy and reality are eternally at war.The World Doesn’t Require You