Award-winning Television Director Jeffrey Blount’s New Novel – Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way
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Award-winning Television Director Jeffrey Blount’s New Novel – Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way

- edited by: Glenn Shuck

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Award-winning author and Emmy award-winning television director Jeffrey Blount’s new novel Mr. Jimmy From Around the Way (Beaufort Books, January 2024) and upcoming author event. The story is a moving and spellbinding account of a billionaire who falls from grace and finds salvation in helping an impoverished community come to life. Set in Washington, DC, and the fictitious town of Ham, Mississippi, this important novel depicts crippling failure, self-discovery, empowerment, and the complicated possibilities of redemption.

Jeffrey will speak at Jacksonville Public Library (13295 Beach Blvd) on Jan. 31 at 7 pm. This community event is free and open to the public. 

James Henry Ferguson (Mr. Jimmy), a famous humanitarian and philanthropist, suffers sudden, severe, and highly publicized transgression.  In an attempt to outrun unending traditional and social media attention, he leaves behind his badly fractured life and broken family, hoping to find anonymity and seclusion in the rural town of Ham. He arrives to find that the house he bought online, sight unseen, places him uncomfortably adjacent to a neighborhood mired in abject poverty. An emergency draws him, quite unwillingly, into the lives of his impoverished neighbors, where he quickly becomes an uplifting figure for many.  As the relationship continues to grow into something positive for him and the people of the neighborhood referred to as “Around the Way,” an immensely disturbing discovery occurs, rocking the entire neighborhood to its core. It takes all the mental and emotional capital Mr. Jimmy has to fight for his new friends and to avert a heartbreaking disaster. 

Jeffrey Blount’s debut novel, The Emancipation of Evan Walls (Koehler Books, June 2019)was the winner of the 2020 National Indie Excellence Award for African American fiction and a Shelf Unbound 2019 Notable Book. In addition to being an Emmy award-winning television director, Jeffrey is a 2016 inductee to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. During a 34-year career at NBC News, Jeffrey directed a decade of Meet The Press, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and major special events. He is the first African American to direct the Today Show.

While Mr. Jimmy from Around the Way is an immensely entertaining novel, it is also a road map about housing, education, healthcare, and justice that presents a tableau of the village in American life.

Readers of this novel will think, reflect, and maybe even see the world a little differently.

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