Novelist Mat Johnson believes that America has its own unique "flavor" of apocalypse. "It's hard not seeing the possible end of things in a variety of different ways," he says. Johnson's new satirical novel, Invisible Things, serves up one of those apocalyptic flavors.
When I was a kid, my mom told me a story about her grandfather: That he got in trouble with some white men down south, and escaped lynching by running to Chicago. That he chose his new last name "Jones," because it was the most common name in the phone book. That, for years, he would sit in his chair facing the door, shotgun on his lap, waiting for them to come for him.
I didn't drop my laptop, or download malware from a sketchy pop-up window or spill Diet Coke on my keyboard. It just stopped working. One minute, my computer was fine; the next it was like, New hard drive, who dis?
As a biracial child growing up in Philadelphia, writer Mat Johnson identified as black â but looked white. His new novel is about a man who returns to his hometown after inheriting a run-down mansion.