Hillary Jordan’s debut novel, Mudbound, won the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver and now administered by PEN America. A gripping story of murder, betrayal, and forbidden love set on a farm in the Mississippi Delta, Mudbound follows two families, one Black and one white, who are forced to confront the brutal realities of prejudice in the WWII-era Jim Crow South. The Washington Post called it “a compelling family tragedy, a confluence of romantic attraction and racial hatred that eventually falls like an avalanche.” Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, called it “a tremendous gift, a story that challenges the 1950s textbook version of our history and leaves its readers completely in the thrall of her characters.”
In 2017, Mudbound was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film that debuted at Sundance and was acquired by Netflix. Directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, and Mary J. Blige, the film received rapturous praise for its cast, production, and story and garnered four Academy Award nominations, among many other honors. Netflix revealed that Mudbound has been viewed for over 20 million hours on the streaming platform. Rolling Stone called it “a stunning achievement” and “a fiercely intimate epic about poverty, racism, violence and a divided America [that] scorchingly reflects the Trump era without being a part of it.” The Atlantic echoed the sentiment, writing, “In a year when fissures in American race relations continue to be at the forefront of national discussion, Mudbound feels like a worthy antidote to the pop culture that has struggled to reflect this current reality.”
Mudbound won an Alex Award from the American Library Association, was the NAIBA Fiction Book of 2008, and was longlisted for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Paste Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade. Jordan’s second novel, When She Woke, was also longlisted for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award and was a Lamda Literary Award finalist. The two books have been translated into fifteen languages.
Jordan is currently at work on a sequel to Mudbound as well as a film adaptation of her digital short, “Aftermirth.” When she’s not writing, she speaks at colleges, literary festivals, community read programs, and libraries, and also teaches the occasional workshop.
Jordan received her BA in English and political science from Wellesley College and spent fifteen years working as an advertising copywriter before turning to fiction. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She grew up in Dallas, TX and Muskogee, OK and now lives in Brooklyn, NY, along with half the writers in America.