Robert Jones Jr.’s writings have been featured in The New York Times, Essence, The Paris Review, and the anthologies Four Hundred Souls and The 1619 Project. His debut novel, The Prophets (G.P. Putnam’s Sons), was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for fiction and a New York Times bestseller. The book tells the story of Isaiah, who was Samuel’s, and Samuel, who was Isaiah’s. That was how it was from the beginning and how it was to be until the end. In the barn, they tended to the animals and each other, transforming the shed into a human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man – a fellow slave – seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own, and Isaiah and Samuel’s love is called out as sinful and dangerous to the plantation’s harmony. As tensions build and the weight of centuries culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance. But it is also a story shot through with hope, beauty, truth, and the power of love.