Jon Clinch’s upcoming novel, The General and Julia — in which Ulysses S. Grant reflects on the crucial moments of his life as a husband, a father, a general, and a president while writing his memoirs and reckoning with his complicated legacy — debuts on November 14, 2023.
His prior novel, Marley (Atria, 2019), revisited the world of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and creates deeply entwined personal histories for Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Simon Callow described it this way: “By some uncanny act of artistic appropriation, [Clinch] has, without imitating Dickens, entered into the phantasmagoric realm that is the great novelist’s quintessential territory…Startling and creative…Remarkable… Masterly.”
Finn (Random House, 2007) — the secret history of Huckleberry Finn’s father — was named an American Library Association Notable Book and chosen as one of the year’s best novels by the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Christian Science Monitor. It won the Philadelphia Athenaeum Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It’s taught widely in high schools and colleges, both alone and alongside Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
His second novel, Kings of the Earth (Random House, 2010)—a powerful and Faulknerian tale of life, death, and family in rural America, based on a true story—was named a best novel of the year by the Washington Post and led the 2010 Summer Reading List at O, The Oprah Magazine.
Jon has lectured and taught widely, in settings as varied as the National Council of Teachers of English, Duke University, the Mark Twain House and Museum, and the Pennsylvania State University. In 2008 he organized a benefit reading for the financially ailing Twain House, enlisting such authors as Tom Perrotta, Elizabeth Letts, and Arthur Phillips for an event that saved the house from imminent bankruptcy. It’s probably the most important work he’s ever done.
To contact Jon, please reach out to ImSaraBloom (at) gmail.com.