PRAISE FOR THE PROPHETS

ONE OF KIRKUS REVIEWS' MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE FALL

Powerful and beautiful…The lyricism of The Prophets will recall the prose of James Baldwin. The strong cadences are equal to those in Faulkner’s Light in August. Sometimes the utterances in the short interpolated chapters seem as orphic as those in Thus Spake Zarathustra. If my comparisons seem excessive, they are rivaled only by Jones’s own pages and pages of acknowledgments. It seems it takes a village to make a masterpiece.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

starred Signature review by Edmund White

Brims with so much confidence and artful flourish that it’s hard to believe it’s

Jones’s first book. Following a line of esteemed authors, he explores the story of enslavement in America and makes it his own….Jones’s expertly drawn characters have depth and purpose, and the writing is beautiful despite the subject matter. A work that will resonate with those moved by Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.

LIBRARY JOURNAL

starred review

An ambitious, imaginative, and important tale of Black queerness through history.

KIRKUS REVIEWS

How devastating and glorious this is. Epic in its scale, intimate in its force, and lyrical in its beauty. The Prophets shakes right down to the bone what the American novel is, should do, and can be. That shuffling sound you hear is Morrison, Baldwin, and Angelou whooping and hollering both in pride, and wonder. 

MARLON JAMES

author of 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

What a rare marvel this book is. The Prophets fashions an epic so rich in erudition, wisdom, clarity, and power, so full of hard-earned yet too-brief joys, that it reaffirms for me literature’s place as both balm and scalpel for the mind and soul. You can feel the decades of thinking embedded not only in these sentences but in how they question and build a world shamefully amputated from textbooks. Rarely is a book this finely wrought, the lives and histories it holds so tenderly felt, and rendered unforgettably true.

OCEAN VUONG

author of 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

The Prophets is easily the most superb tutorial in writing and loving I have ever read. I’m convinced Morrison, Baldwin, and Bambara sat around sipping wine one night, talking about the day we’d read an offering like The Prophets. Robert Jones, Jr., is a once-in-a-generation cultural worker whose art thankfully will be imitated for generations.

 
KIESE LAYMON 

author of 

Heavy: An American Memoir

I’ve loved the writing of Robert Jones, Jr., for years, and The Prophets is an absolute

triumph, a symphonic evocation of the heights and depths of pain, joy, and love.

R.O. KWON

author of 

The Incendiaries

In The Prophets, Robert Jones, Jr.’s lens is at once epic and microscopic, equally capable of evoking historical crises and interpersonal ones. Painfully harsh and painfully tender, this inventive, kaleidoscopic love story is a marvel.

HELEN PHILLIPS

author of 

The Need

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