The World Doesn't Require You


Rion Amilcar Scott (Author)

Logo markA Liveright book


One of Esquire's Most Anticipated Books of 2019

Breathtakingly imaginative and unapologetically original, The World Doesn’t Require You announces a bold, generational talent.

The World Doesn’t Require You announces the arrival of a generational talent. In creating his very own Yoknapatawpha County with the fictional Cross River, Maryland, Rion Amilcar Scott shatters rigid genre lines to explore larger themes of religion, violence, and love—all told with sly humor and a dash of magical realism.

Established by the leaders of the country’s only successful slave revolt in the mid-nineteenth century, Cross River still evokes the fierce rhythms of its founding. In lyrical prose and singular dialect, a saga beats forward that echoes the fables carried down for generations—like the screecher birds who swoop down for their periodic sacrifice, and the water women who lure men to wet deaths.

Among its residents—wildly spanning decades, perspectives, and species—are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God’s last son; Tyrone, a ruthless Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who serves his Master. As the book builds to its finish with Special Topics in Loneliness Studies, a fully realized novella, two unhinged professors grapple with hugely different ambitions, and the reader comes to appreciate the intricacy of the world Scott has created—one where fantasy and reality are eternally at war.

Contemporary and essential, The World Doesn’t Require You is a “leap into a blazing new level of brilliance” (Lauren Groff) that affirms Rion Amilcar Scott as a writer whose storytelling gifts the world very much requires.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Forthcoming August 2019
  • ISBN 978-1-63149-538-0
  • 6.1 × 9.3 in / 384 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“I've been a fan of Rion Amilcar Scott's for years, but I was astonished by The World Does Not Require You, which seems a leap into a blazing new level of brilliance: it is a wild, restless, deeply intelligent collection of stories, each of which resists and subverts the limits of categorization. What a beautiful book.” — Lauren Groff, author of Florida and Fates and Furies

The World Doesn't Require You is a wholly inventive, mesmerizing, genre-bending whirlwind of a book. I am utterly blown away by Rion Amilcar Scott's boundless talent and imagination.” — Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up

“In the midst of a renaissance of African American fiction, Rion Amilcar Scott's stories stand at the forefront of what's possible in this vanguard. Funny, sad, and always moving, these stories explore what it means to call a place like America home when it treats you with indifference or terror. The people in these stories are unforgettable, their lives recognizable, their voices, as written by Scott, wholly original.” — Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman

“Scott’s signature blend of tenderness and world-weary wise-cracking and magical realism buoys the reader with strength and a deeply intelligent hope. You won’t find Cross River on any map, but its people and their stories are real and solid and demand to be heard.” — Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day