Published March 18, 2022

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (My Monticello) discusses her debut book, a collection of short stories and the eponymous novella, exploring burdened inheritances and extraordinary pursuits of belonging. United by Johnson’s characters’ relentless struggles against reality and fate, My Monticello is a formidable book that bears witness to this country’s legacies. In conversation with Lisa Woolfork.

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Thanks to our bookseller for this event, New Dominion Bookshop.

“Up close, we cannot ignore our present-day complicity with history even as the novella moves propulsively toward tomorrow’s inevitability. Simply put, a masterly feat.”—The New York Times

“In these six remarkable stories, Johnson depicts strivers struggling to survive in a nation where the game is rigged… My Monticello announces the arrival of an electric new literary voice in Johnson, an emerging master of the short story form.”—Esquire

“A sharp debut by a writer with wit and confidence.”—Kirkus

“The author’s riveting storytelling and skill at rendering complex characters yield rich social commentary on Monticello and Jefferson’s complex ideologies of freedom, justice, and liberty. This incandescent work speaks not just to the moment, but to history.”—Publishers Weekly


Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Community Partner

Thanks to our community partner for this event, the African American Authors Book Club of Charlottesville.

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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