Based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.
In the novel, Ruff upended this legacy by centering Black characters and making the story a parable about throwing off the constrictions of white supremacy.
Green expands that idea even further, blending cinematic genres and referencing works by literary figures like James Baldwin and Ntozake Shange to create a provocative show that is landing amid a broader national conversation about race and representation.
It’s easy to see why executive producer Jordan Peele was drawn to this material.
The obvious person to contact locally for comment was Niels Hobbs, proprietor of the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council in the Arcade. We exchanged a few messages, and, yes, he has the book for sale (see below). The following has been edited for clarity.
PDD: Are you a fan of this book? Have you been looking forward to this adaptation?
HOBBS: I’m very excited for the new series coming from the book. The book was great, but I expect even greater from Misha Green and Jordan Peele – their collective works definitely raise my expectations. I think the large majority of weird (and lovecraftian) fiction fans are also really looking forward to it.
It’s been clear for a long while that telling such stories from the point of view of a more complete and diverse set of voices is both long-overdue and necessary for the genre. I’m very happy to see this project come to fruition as yet one more example of the growing and maturing of Weird fiction.
By the way, Jonathan Majors, the star of the show, came into our store as they were in pre-production for this show. He was in Providence doing some research for his part, and was really awesome — he also bought over $300 of books.
PDD: Do you have the book for sale and what are the new store hours?
HOBBS: Yes, we certainly have copies of Matt Ruff’s book – and have sold quite a few. We’re open on Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5pm – and by appointment other days.
PDD: Thank you Mr. Hobbs.
The Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council is located in the Arcade Providence at 65 Weybosset Street and is enforcing all the coronavirus protocols: Wear a mask; Observe social distancing; only two customers at a time. (Mr. Hobbs is a real scientist so he understands these things. You may have read his paper, “Conspecific tolerance and heterospecific competition as mechanisms for overcoming resistance to invasion by an intertidal crab.” Yeah, that Niels Hobbs.