NPR stories about Mat Johnson
Novels from Mat Johnson, Hector Tobar and Ayad Akhtar bring fresh perspectives to racial and religious politics. In nonfiction, Mike Birbiglia chronicles his life as a comedian with a sleepwalking disorder and Steven Brill examines the standards-and-accountability school reform movement.
Mat Johnson's Pym is a modern-day sequel to Edgar Allan Poe's only novel. Poe's characters discover an island populated only by blacks. Johnson's characters set off to the South Pole to find this island but uncover something entirely different.
David Brooks' The Social Animal combines neuroscience with philosophy to uncover the secrets of happiness. The Longevity Project draws long-life lessons from an 80-year study of 1,528 10-year-olds. Finally, an all-black crew explores whiteness on an expedition to – where else? – Antarctica in the wickedly satirical Pym.
In his new book, Pym, fiction writer Mat Johnson plays with the premise of Edgar Allan Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Poe's novel was a "master text of anxious white fright," says Maureen Corrigan, and Johnson's clever book shines new light on the material.