Jason Mott, 2013
Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time .
Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old. All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end.
Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.
With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. One of the most highly acclaimed novels of the year, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction. (From the publisher.)
• Where—Bolton, North Carolina, USA
• Education—B.A., M.F.A., University of North Carolina,
• Currently—lives in southeastern North Carolina
Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary journals, and he was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award. Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch.
Mott is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” His debut novel, The Returned, was published in 2013 in over 13 languages and became a New York Times Bestseller. A film adaptation will air on ABC-TV in March, 2014, under the title Resurrection. (Adapted from the author's webiste.)
Jason Mott's impressive debut novel...is a tense and touching treatise on life, death and life again.
(Starred review.) In his exceptional debut novel, poet Mott brings drama, pathos, joy, horror, and redemption to a riveting tale of how the contemporary world handles the inexplicable reappearance of the dead. The primary focus is on Harold and Lucille Hargrave, who lost their son, Jacob, half a century ago.... Mott brings depth and poignancy to the Returned and their purpose for existing.
What if the dead came back to us on Earth? Would your loved one's reappearance be a blessing or a curse? All over the world, people are spontaneously rising from the dead.... Highly recommended for those who love a strong story that makes them think. —Katie Lawrence, Chicago
(Starred review.) Mott brings a singularly eloquent voice to this elegiac novel, which not only fearlessly tackles larger questions about mortality but also insightfully captures life's simpler moments....A beautiful meditation on what it means to be human.
(Starred review.) The world, a community, and an elderly couple are confused and disconcerted when people who have died inexplicably come back, including the couple's 8-year-old son, whom they lost nearly 50 years ago. No one understands why people who died are coming back.... Mott has written a breathtaking novel that navigates emotional minefields with realism and grace.
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