Edward P. Jones biography

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Edward P. Jones
Photo credit: Bettina Strauss

Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones Biography

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.



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Interview

Edward P. Jones answers questions about his much acclaimed book, The Known World including, how usual was it for free blacks to be slaveholders in the South?

Throughout The Known World, you intersperse your fictional account with historical records and data about Manchester County, Virginia. Are these records factual? What was your intent in incorporating them into your novel?
The county and town of Manchester, Virginia, and every human being in those places are products of my imagination. Other counties and towns (Amelia County, Charlottesville, etc.) are real, but were employed merely to give some heft and believability to the creation of Manchester and its people. The same is obviously true of real, historical people -- President Fillmore, for example.

The census records I made up for Manchester were, again, simply to make the reader feel that the town and the county and the people lived and breathed in central Virginia once upon a time before the county was "swallowed up" by surrounding counties. Saying that the census of 1840 shows that there were so many black people, so many white people there, et cetera, affords a hard background of numbers and dates that makes the foreground of the characters and what they go through more real.

How unusual was it for free blacks to serve as slaveholders in the South? How did the idea come to you to ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Edward P. Jones at BookBrowse
All Aunt Hagar's Children jacket The Known World jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Edward P. Jones but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Ifa Bayeza

    Ifa Bayeza

    Ifa Bayeza is an award-winning playwright, producer, and conceptual theater artist. Her works for the stage include Amistad Voices, Club Harlem, Kid Zero, Homer G & the Rhapsodies, and The Ballad of Emmett Till, winner of the... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Known World

    Try:
    Some Sing, Some Cry
    by Ifa Bayeza

  • Douglas A. Blackmon

    Douglas A. Blackmon

    Douglas A. Blackmon is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, and co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Known World

    Try:
    Slavery by Another Name
    by Douglas A. Blackmon

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