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The World Doesn't Require You

The World Doesn't Require You

by Rion Amilcar Scott


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Finalist • PEN / Jean Stein Book Award
Longlisted • 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.

Established by the leaders of the country’s only successful slave revolt in the mid-nineteenth century, Cross River still evokes the fierce rhythms of its founding. In lyrical prose and singular dialect, a saga beats forward that echoes the fables carried down for generations—like the screecher birds who swoop down for their periodic sacrifice, and the water women who lure men to wet deaths.

Among its residents—wildly spanning decades, perspectives, and species—are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God’s last son; Tyrone, a ruthless PhD candidate, whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who serves his Master. As the book builds to its finish with Special Topics in Loneliness Studies, a fully-realized novella, two unhinged professors grapple with hugely different ambitions, and the reader comes to appreciate the intricacy of the world Scott has created—one where fantasy and reality are eternally at war.

Contemporary and essential, The World Doesn’t Require You is a “leap into a blazing new level of brilliance” (Lauren Groff) that affirms Rion Amilcar Scott as a writer whose storytelling gifts the world very much requires.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631495380
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 719,912
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rion Amilcar Scott's first book, Insurrections, won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. His work has been published in the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, PANK, and Confrontation, among others. He lives and writes in Maryland.

Table of Contents

David Sherman, the Last Son of God 1

The Nigger Knockers 22

The Electric Joy of Service 43

The Temple of Practical Arts 47

A Rare and Powerful Employee 73

Numbers 76

A Loudness of Screechers 92

Mercury in Retrograde 96

On the Occasion of the Death of Freddie Lee

Slim in Hell 120

Rolling in My Six-Fo'-Daa Daa Daa-with All My Niggas Saying: Swing Down Sweet Chariot Stop and Let Me Riiiide. Hell Yeah. 132

Special Topics in Loneliness Studies 155

I The Fall 157

II Winter Break 179

III The Spring; or, Special Topics in Loneliness Studies 205

IV An Epilogue 291

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