Jason Mott

Having made his name as one of America's premier new poets, Jason Mott now turns to prose in his first novel, The Returned. In Mott's debut, a worldwide phenomenon has inexplicably brought the deceased come back to life, reborn the same age they were when they died. Focusing on the bewildered families of a rural Southern town -- a pastor haunted by an ex-girlfriend, an aged couple adjusting to the return of their long-gone son -- Mott explores the debate as to whether these returns are miracle or curse, redemption or ruin. The result is a poignant and singular take on mortality's timeless questions. This week, Mott discusses books that for him carry deep resonance, and share his own work's themes of wrestling with the supernatural, and what it means to comprise a family.


October Light
By John Gardner

"A masterwork of American writing. A book that is both expansive and intimate. Gardner achieves a conversation about family and commitment to one’s beliefs, but also builds a fascinating discussion of fiction and its overarching purpose."



The Snow Child
By Eowyn Ivey

"A taut, fascinating tale that mingles folklore and mythology with harsh realism and a period in American history. The Snow Child achieves that ever-elusive yet desperately important task of absconding with the reader; taking them from the conformity and repetition of the world they know and relocating them into the bowels and intimacy of a world they might otherwise never come to know. Few writers possess this gift, which Ivey flaunts so blatantly."


American Gods
By Neil Gaiman

"Few authors possess the imagination of Neil Gaiman, and fewer still possess the talent. This is a book that bridges gaps that most people do not even know exist. This is a book about belief, religion, mythology, and more. In my opinion, of all of Gaiman’s works, this is the one that most trumpets his ethos, not only as a writer but as a contributor to the 'great conversation' that is fiction."


April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.