Hillary 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.
Her first novel, Mudbound, was published in 2008 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, HarperCollins Canada, and Random House UK. It won the Bellwether Prize, founded by Barbara Kingsolver and awarded biennially to an unpublished debut novel that addresses issues of social justice, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. Mudbound was also the NAIBA Fiction Book of the Year and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It was one of 30 titles chosen for the 2013 World Book Night book giveaway. Paste Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade.
In early 2017, the film adaptation of Mudbound premiered at Sundance, earning rapturous praise for its cast and production. Directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Clarke, it hit theaters (and Netflix!) in November 2017. Rolling Stone called it “a stunning achievement”: “A fiercely intimate epic about poverty, racism, violence and a divided America, Mudbound 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.” Jordan is also working on a sequel to Mudbound, to be published in 2019.
Jordan’s second novel, When She Woke, was published in 2011 by Algonquin and HarperCollins Canada and in 2012 by HarperCollins UK. It was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a Lamda Literary Award finalist. Jordan’s novels have been translated into ten languages and counting, with seven new translations of Mudbound forthcoming.
When she’s not writing, Jordan speaks at colleges, literary festivals, and community libraries, and teaches the occasional workshop. In 2010, Mudbound was the Freshman Read at Salem College as well as Appalachian State University, where she delivered the convocation address. In 2011, it was the “One City, One Story” read for Pasadena, California and the “Tale for Three Counties” community read in western New York.
Jordan grew up in Dallas, Texas and Muskogee, Oklahoma. She lives in Brooklyn.
For more information on Hillary Jordan, please visit www.hillaryjordan.com/.