The Known World by Edward P. Jones

80%

7 Critic Reviews

Slave-owning by free blacks in antebellum America is the astonishingly rich subject of this impressively researched, challenging novel...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues. In a daring and ambitious novel, Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

 

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 March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 432 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Known World
All: 7 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 20 2010

Slave-owning by free blacks in antebellum America is the astonishingly rich subject of this impressively researched, challenging novel...

Read Full Review of The Known World | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by JOHN VERNON on Aug 31 2008

Among the many triumphs of...is Jones's transformation of a little-known footnote in history into a story that goes right to the heart of slavery.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Valerie Martin on Jul 31 2008

The Known World is not an easy read, but it's a powerful experience. Through all the furious conflagration there flows the ironic, sympathetic, distant voice of the narrator...

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Sep 04 2009

There are deep moral lessons here...As a result, few contemporary novels are better suited for a classroom discussion than The Known World.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Mark Harris on Aug 22 2008

This is slavery as it has never been written about or imagined before, and it is essential reading.

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The Millions

Good
Reviewed by Jean Thompson on Sep 14 2009

...gorgeously written novel, turns the world of race relations as we know it upside down.

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Time Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Lev Grossman on Dec 29 2009

Jones explores Henry’s life from every possible angle...skipping across decades of time and continents of space (The Known Worldis a gloriously tangled root ball of a book) but always returning to the story’s nightmarish core.

Read Full Review of The Known World | See more reviews from Time Magazine

Reader Rating for The Known World
75%

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