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San Jacinto College
News Release
Sunday, October 09, 2011

College to host novelist Mat Johnson


HOUSTON – San Jacinto College (SJC) will host noted novelist Mat Johnson, who will read excerpts from his newest novel “Pym” and will conduct a seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. The free event is open to the public, and will take place in the Monument Room, located in the Slovacek Student Center on the North Campus, 5800 Uvalde Road in Houston.


Johnson is the author of seven books and is a professor in the University of Houston creative writing program. His novel “Pym” features main character Chris Jaynes, a literature professor who is obsessed with “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket,” Edgar Allan Poe’s strange and only novel. He convenes an all-black crew of six to follow Pym’s trail to the South Pole in search of adventure, natural resources to exploit, and, for Jaynes at least, the mythical world of Poe’s novel. Beneath the permafrost of Antarctica, Jaynes searches for the meaning of whiteness.


There will be a question and answer session, and Johnson will sign and sell copies of “Pym” and “Incognegro,” a hard-hitting mystery that deals with the issues of racial identity and lynching, once practiced in some Southern states.


Johnson’s novel “Drop,” published in 2000, was listed among Progressive Magazine’s Best Novels of the Year. Johnson earned the prestigious Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction in 2004. In 2007, he was named the first USA James Baldwin Fellow by the United Sates Artists Foundation. In September 2011, he was awarded the Dos Passos Prize for Literature.


Johnson’s presentation is part of the North Campus English department’s “Lit’s Alive” program.


About San Jacinto College: Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

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