All Joe Knight

Kevin Morris (Author)


A prominent figure in the entertainment world who has turned to fiction in the last decade, Kevin Morris received wide literary acclaim with his story collection White Man's Problems, praised by David Carr as "remarkable" and Tom Perrotta as "revelatory." Now Morris cements his place as a bold new voice in American literature with his muscular debut novel, All Joe Knight.

1961. Outside Philadelphia, a soon-to-be father runs into a telephone pole while driving drunk; nine months later, his widow dies in a smashed up T-Bird. From the start, the orphaned Joe Knight is a blank slate. Taken in by a kindly aunt in a tough-skinned suburb, Joe finds his family in high school with the Fallcrest basketball team--the kind of team that comes around once in a lifetime. White guys, black guys, speed, height, raw athleticism, every element is perfectly in synch. All these kids want, all they dream of, is to make it to the Palestra, UPenn's cathedral of college basketball.

Fast-forward thirty years. Joe is newly divorced with one kid and certain he is unfit for love. Ever since selling the ad firm he built from the ground up for millions, he's had time on his hands, and now he wiles it away in strip clubs, the only place where he can quiet his mind. But then he hears from Chris Scully, a former Fallcrest teammate who is now District Attorney. It seems the Justice Department is sniffing around the deal that got Joe rich years ago--a deal he cut every member of the basketball team into, except for Scully. As the details about Joe's possible transgression are unreeled, he is forced to face the emptiness inside himself and a secret that has haunted him for decades.

Product Details

$25.00  $23.00
Grove Press
Publish Date
December 06, 2016
6.1 X 1.4 X 9.1 inches | 1.4 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Kevin Morris is the author of the acclaimed story collection White Man's Problems and has written for the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Filmmaker Magazine. He produced the highly regarded documentary Hands on a Hardbody and was a co-producer and Tony Award winner for The Book of Mormon. He lives in Los Angeles.


Praise for All Joe Knight

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

An Amazon Best Book of the Month in Literature & Fiction for December 2016

"Morris is a natural storyteller . . . the line-by-line humanness is the absolute killer heart of this brilliant first novel."--Terry McDonell, author of The Accidental Life

"A remarkable and agonizing portrayal of a middle-aged man who doesn't know what's become of his life, and doesn't seem to care."--Esquire

"[A] two-fisted debut novel . . . Joe is John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom revised for the Trump era--more profane and straight-talking . . . Like a corner-bar Montaigne, Joe has an opinion on just about everything, from the wealthy to Bob Dylan to the 1974 Philadelphia Flyers to women's breasts . . . Joe is a boor, but Morris gives him an awareness of that boorishness, a complex past, and a gift for sturdy, well-turned observations . . . And Morris . . . has put a spotlight on a lower middle class that gets little attention in contemporary fiction, regardless of race . . .One of the graces of fiction is that an effective character doesn't have to be likable. Morris' novel is a surprisingly full portrait of one man who exemplifies the notion."--USA Today, 3/4 stars

"An engaging debut novel. Joe Knight . . . narrates in a gritty, defiant, sardonic voice that's one of the work's greatest strengths . . . A moving portrait of a lost soul in modern America, for all readers of literary fiction."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Suspenseful . . . Morris vividly evokes the dynamics among the boys--and later the disillusioned men--who came of age on the margins of a city in decline, and in the shadow of great colonial founding fathers."--National Book Review

"Kevin Morris goes for a slam dunk in his debut novel, All Joe Knight."--Vanity Fair Hot Type

"Morris's novel deftly shows that the frustrations of a stunted middle-aged man are evocative terrain."--Publishers Weekly

"An in your face account of friends, family, and Philly that I enjoyed all Knight long."--My Dad Reads Too Many Books