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The Known World
EDWARD P. JONES

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
461 reviews (2003) (432p)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Winner
National Book Award Finalist
New York TimesĀ® Best Fiction Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
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.


Amazon.com Review
Set in Manchester County, Virginia, 20 years before the Civil War began, Edward P. Jones's debut novel, The Known World, is a masterpiece of overlapping plot lines, time shifts, and heartbreaking details of life under slavery. Caldonia Townsend is an educated black slaveowner, the widow of a well-loved young farmer named Henry, whose parents had bought their own freedom, and then freed their son, only to watch him buy himself a slave as soon as he had saved enough money. Although a fair and gentle master by the standards of the day, Henry Townsend had learned from former master about the proper distance to keep from one's property. After his death, his slaves wonder if Caldonia will free them. When she fails to do so, but instead breaches the code that keeps them separate from her, a little piece of Manchester County begins to unravel. Impossible to rush through, The Known World is a complex, beautifully written novel with a large cast of characters, rewarding the patient reader with unexpected connections, some reaching into the present day. --Regina Marler


Other Award Winning Books by Edward P. Jones
All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones
22 reviews (2006) (416p) (PF)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
20 reviews (1992) (256p) (NBA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Edward P. Jones Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 6  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 3  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 1 The Known World ·  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 The Known World ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 1 The Known World ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 1 The Known World ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 2 Lost in the City · The Known World ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 All Aunt Hagar's Children ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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