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The Known World by Edward P. Jones

The Known World is set in antebellum Virginia, where Henry Townsend is not only a free black man, but one who owns his own land and his own slaves. Despite the fact that he owns these men, women, and children's lives completely, his aim is to treat them compassionately. His mentor, the most powerful white man in the country, is deeply in love with a slave and their two mulatto children. When Henry dies, his wife Caldonia tries to run the plantation in his absence. Sensing the opportunity, slaves begin the sneak away at night. White patrollers catch the runaway slaves for rewards, occasionally grabbing free black men too. Edward P. Jones's novel tells the story across the span of many years, illuminating the world of slavery through its many contradictions and its cost of humanity and lives. The Known World has received high praise. Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post calls it "the best new work of American fiction to cross my desk in years."
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Buy The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Winner of the 2004 National Book Critics Circle fiction prize
Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction

New York Times review
by Janet Maslin

Boston Globe review
by John Freeman

Pop Matters review
by Stephen M. Deusner

Washington Post review
by Jonathan Yardley

Christian Science Monitor
review by Ron Charles

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Alan Cheuse review
by Shannon Bloomstran

USA Today review

Edward P. Jones
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