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The Known World
by Edward P. Jones




Overview -

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.

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Overview

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.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060557553
  • ISBN-10: 0060557559
  • Publisher: American Book Company
  • Publish Date: February 2020

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BookPage Reviews

The Known World

Readers of Edward P. Jones' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel are likely to find it nothing short of revelatory. The foundation of the book—the institution of slavery as practiced between blacks—is a little-mentioned bit of history that makes the South's tempestuous past seem even stormier than before. Set in 1850s Virginia, the novel focuses on Henry Townsend, a free black man, and his wife Caldonia. The two buy a slave to serve as overseer on their new farm—an odd transaction for Henry, himself a former slave, but one Virginia society seems to take in stride. The book features a broad cast of characters that includes Sheriff John Skiffington, who opposes the owning of slaves but doggedly fulfills his duty of apprehending those who escape, and William Robbins, Henry's vicious former master, who has fallen in love with a black woman. Conflating traditional notions of freedom and bondage, Jones offers a unique vision of history. A reading group guide is available online at www.harpercollins.com.

 

BAM Customer Reviews