Black History Month: “The Known World”

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The Known World won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the 2003 National Book Critics Award in fiction. It is a stunning story in that it imagines the reality and consequences of a free black man in pre-Civil War Virginia who owns slaves.

From the publisher:

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.

A story from NPR.

Author’s Web site.

Jones will be in the Capital Region to give a reading with the New York State Writers Institute. April 18 (Wednesday): Novelist and short story writer Edward P. Jones
Reading – 8:00 p.m., Room TBA, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy

Thanks to Lisa Stevens for pointing out this book.

The previous authors and writings featured on this blog:
“The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano”
Gwendolyn Brooks
August Wilson
“Our Nig” by Harriet Wilson
“Twelve Years A Slave” by Solomon Northup
“The Souls of Black Folks” by W.E.B. Du Bois
Langston Hughes
“Cane” by Jean Toomer
“The Great Negro Plot” by Mat Johnson
“Passing” by Nella Larsen
“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”
“The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
“I Have a Dream” speech”
“Sula” by Toni Morrison

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