All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones

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In fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, five of which have been published in The New Yorker, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World shows that his grasp of the human condition is firmer than ever

Returning to the city that inspired his first prizewinning book, Lost in the City, Jones has filled this new collection with people who call Washington, D.C., home. Yet it is not the city's power brokers that most concern him but rather its ordinary citizens. All Aunt Hagar's Children turns an unflinching eye to the men, women, and children caught between the old ways of the South and the temptations that await them further north, people who in Jones's masterful hands, emerge as fully human and morally complex, whether they are country folk used to getting up with the chickens or people with centuries of education behind them.

In the title story, in which Jones employs the first-person rhythms of a classic detective story, a Korean War veteran investigates the death of a family friend whose sorry destiny seems inextricable from his mother's own violent Southern childhood. In "In the Blink of God's Eye" and "Tapestry" newly married couples leave behind the familiarity of rural life to pursue lives of urban promise only to be challenged and disappointed.

With the legacy of slavery just a stone's throw away and the future uncertain, Jones's cornucopia of characters will haunt readers for years to come.


About Edward P. Jones

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Edward P. Jones, the New York Times bestselling author, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World; he also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short listed for the National Book Award. His second collection, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a range of universities, including Princeton. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 416 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for All Aunt Hagar's Children

Kirkus Reviews

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In the brooding title story, a Korean War vet’s murder investigation proves that “Blood spilled with violence never goes away.” And in the magnificent “Root Worker,” a woman doctor learns from an aged “voodoo woman” that we are often helplessly and unknowingly the cause of our own—and our loved o...

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The New York Times

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Her parents did everything they could to ensure that their daughter put her faith in education, medicine and science, and yet science is failing Glynnis’s mother, Alberta, who is slowly losing her mind.

Aug 27 2006 | Read Full Review of All Aunt Hagar's Children

Publishers Weekly

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Coming after the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Known World, Jones's second collection of stories journeys the length and breadth of Washington, D.C., past and present, for inspiration.

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Book Reporter

Jones has expertly crafted a collection of fourteen short stories titled All Aunt Hagar's Children.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of All Aunt Hagar's Children

Entertainment Weekly

He is ''just starting to dance away on the easy side — a little soft-shoe here, a little soft-shoe there,'' avoiding all claims on his time.

Aug 30 2006 | Read Full Review of All Aunt Hagar's Children

USA Today

After creating the literary sensation of 1993 with The Known World, his novel about the rise and fall of a black slave owner in antebellum Virginia, Jones returns to the territory he explored in his first book, the 1992 short story collection, Lost in the City.Jones writes about Washingtonians in...

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The Millions

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Bookmarks Magazine

Jonathan Yardley Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars "Jones’s evocation of the distant past and the uncomfortable present is remarkable because of the humanity that illuminates each story and binds the reader to his characters."

Aug 22 2007 | Read Full Review of All Aunt Hagar's Children

London Review of Books

Naipaul practises in A House for Mr Biswas, in which the narrative eschatologically leaps ahead to inform us of how the characters will end their lives, or casually blinks away years at a time: ‘In all, Mr Biswas lived six years at The Chase, years so squashed by their own boredom and futility th...

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