The World Doesn't Require You: Stories
DescriptionLonglisted - Aspen Words Literary Prize
Best Books of the Year: Washington Post, NPR, Buzzfeed and Entropy
Best Short Story Collections of the Year: Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and Electric Literature
The World Doesn't Require You announces the arrival of a generational talent, as Rion Amilcar Scott shatters rigid genre lines to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love--all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism.
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About the AuthorRion Amilcar Scott teaches English at Bowie State University. He earned an MFA at George Mason University, where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and a Completion Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, the Washington City Paper, The Toast, and Confrontation.
Scott's signature blend of tenderness and world-weary wise-cracking and magical realism buoys the reader with strength and a deeply intelligent hope. You won't find Cross River on any map, but its people and their stories are real and solid and demand to be heard.--Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day
Surreal, intertextual, and darkly comical stories... Rion Amilcar Scott writes in the tradition of George Schuyler and Ishmael Reed but with a distinctive wry, playful voice that is wholly his own. With breathtaking cruelty and devastating humor, Scott adduces the whole world in one community.--Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People
Flat-out unputdownable. The fictional town of Cross River, MD sits at the heart of this dazzling collection--home to water-women and a wayward lecturer secretly dwelling in the basement of a university building and the last son of god, to myth and wonder and sorrow. With these innovative, refreshing, and altogether thrilling stories, Rion Amilcar Scott once again shows his readers that he is a blazingly original talent, a vital voice.--Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel
Rion Amilcar Scott doesn't hold back or tiptoe around issues about race. He's the most courageous writer I know; and this collection is an excellent example and significant achievement. He's now made his mark as a force to reckon with.--Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Patsy
This soaring collection firmly places Cross River within the canon of American literature and confirms Scott as one of the most unique, powerful writers of his generation. We are so lucky.--Randa Jarrar, author of Him, Me, Muhammad Ali: Stories
Mischievous, relentlessly inventive stories whose interweaving content swerves from down-home grit to dreamlike grotesque.... Mordantly bizarre and trenchantly observant, these stories stake out fresh territory in the nation's literary landscape.--Kirkus Reviews [starred review]
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.--Publishers Weekly [starred review]
Scott's interweaving story collection covers generations and defies genre restrictions in a series of wry, magically tinged character studies. The book affirms Scott, who won awards for his first collection Insurrection, as a major unique literary talent.
A bold new talent emerges with this boundary-shattering collection of linked stories set in fictional Cross County, Maryland, founded by the leaders of America's only successful slave uprising. Characters range from robots to sons of God in these magical realist stories about race, religion, and violence. Think of it as Faulkner meets Asimov.--Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire
You'll no doubt find yourself highlighting passages over and over again, consistently marveling over the author's storytelling genius.--Quinn Keaney, Popsugar
Powerful and revelatory.--Erin Keane, Salon
Each time I open to a passage I love, I think this man is a national treasure of a writer... What brilliance between the pages.--Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming
Scott's Cross River has been compared to other authors' imagined places, from Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County to Jesmyn Ward's Bois Sauvage (and I would add Nisi Shawl's Everfair, as well as Black Panther's Wakanda), but it's completely his own, forged of deep roots, racial conflict and humor so mordant you'll do double takes.... These stories range from satire ("The Electric Joy of Service") to fantasy ("Numbers") to horror ("Rolling in My Six-Fo'?") and not one of them strikes a false note. There are angry notes. Even, perhaps, hostile ones. But none that are unwarranted. A few readers may be shocked by Scott's use of cultural epithets, but those are far from unnecessary. We have so far to go and so little time to get there, Scott seems to say. Maybe spending a few hours in Cross River will help build a bridge. Or blow one up, if need be.--Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post
A rich, genre-splicing mix of alternate history, magical realism and satire that interrogates issues of race, sexism and where both meet here in the real world.--Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
We know Cross River, Maryland, the setting of Rion Amilcar Scott's stories, is fictional because it's supposed to have been founded by slaves who successfully overthrew their masters. We also know this because God was resurrected there, which we learn from his progeny in 'David Sherman, the Last Son of God, ' and because in another futuristic story, slave history is reenacted by cyborgs. Scott joins a growing tradition of African-American authors fusing the folksy dystopian humor of George Saunders with the charged satire of Ishmael Reed and expands on it brilliantly.--Boris Kachka, New York Magazine
The World Doesn't Require You is a wholly inventive, mesmerizing, genre-bending whirlwind of a book. I am utterly blown away by Rion Amilcar Scott's boundless talent and imagination.--Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up