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A Visit with Author Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
(Image: VPM)

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is a Charlottesville, Virginia resident, former public school art teacher, and author. Her acclaimed debut, My Monticello, consists of five short stories and a novella and was included as an NPR Books We Love of 2021 and New York Times Notable Book of the Year selection. The novella is currently being made into a Netflix movie.


Her book was inspired in part by events in Charlottesville in August of 2017 and, as Johnson says, “the ways in which I feel at home and the ways in which sometimes I don’t feel quite at home.” The fictional story follows a group of neighbors as they take shelter at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello after the city is overrun by violent white supremacists.

Charlottesville Inside-Out host and producer, Terri Allard, caught up with Johnson recently to talk about her experience as a writer in Charlottesville, the process behind her work, and what it’s like to have her debut novella made into a movie.