We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward Jones

All Aunt Hagar's Children

Stories

by Edward P. Jones

All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones X
All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 416 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2007, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, five of which have been published in The New Yorker, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World shows that his grasp of the human condition is firmer than ever

Returning to the city that inspired his first prizewinning book, Lost in the City, Jones has filled this new collection with people who call Washington, D.C., home. Yet it is not the city's power brokers that most concern him but rather its ordinary citizens. All Aunt Hagar's Children turns an unflinching eye to the men, women, and children caught between the old ways of the South and the temptations that await them further north, people who in Jones's masterful hands, emerge as fully human and morally complex, whether they are country folk used to getting up with the chickens or people with centuries of education behind them.

In the title story, in which Jones employs the first-person rhythms of a classic detective story, a Korean War veteran investigates the death of a family friend whose sorry destiny seems inextricable from his mother's own violent Southern childhood. In "In the Blink of God's Eye" and "Tapestry" newly married couples leave behind the familiarity of rural life to pursue lives of urban promise only to be challenged and disappointed.

With the legacy of slavery just a stone's throw away and the future uncertain, Jones's cornucopia of characters will haunt readers for years to come.

In the Blink of God's Eye

That 1901 winter when the wife and her husband were still new to Washington, there came to the wife like a scent carried on the wind some word that wolves roamed the streets and roads of the city after sundown. The wife, Ruth Patterson, knew what wolves could do: she had an uncle who went to Alaska in 1895 to hunt for gold, an uncle who was devoured by wolves not long after he slept under his first Alaskan moon. Still, the night, even in godforsaken Washington, sometimes had that old song that could pull Ruth up and out of her bed, the way it did when she was a girl across the Potomac River in Virginia where all was safe and all was family. Her husband, Aubrey, always slept the sleep of a man not long out of boyhood and never woke. Hearing the song call her from her new bed in Washington, Ruth, ever mindful of the wolves, would take up their knife and pistol and kiss Aubrey's still-hairless face and descend to the porch. She was well ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Like Jones's mother, his characters mainly originate from the rural South and are coping with the urbanization of their lives with varying degrees of success. However, even though most have left to find a better life, many of the older people tend to long for the life they knew when they were young - a time somewhere in the short period following the northern migration of the children and grand-children of the former slaves, when it was still possible to feel part of a small community in the big city...continued

Full Review (985 words)

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

The Washington Post
With the publication of All Aunt Hagar's Children, his third book and second collection of short stories, Jones has established himself as one of the most important writers of his own generation ...and of the present day.

Boolist - Vanessa Bush
Jones' stories are rich in detail and emotions as he plumbs the intricacies of people's relationships with one another and with spiritual forces at work in urban as well as natural environments. Readers who enjoyed The Known World will relish these varied gems of Jones' talent for storytelling.

Kirkus Reviews
Jones's engrossing, exquisitely crafted and unforgettable stories offer images of the African-American experience that are unparalleled in American fiction.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A complex, sometimes somber collection....Jones broadens his chronological scope to encompass virtually the entire 20th century and a wide range of experiences and African-American perspectives.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

There is a regrettably short excerpt from All Aunt Hagar's Children at BookBrowse, but here are links to three complete short stories, originally published in The New Yorker:
Bad Neighbors
A Rich Man

Old Boys and Old Girls.

Did you know?

  • Edward P Jones has dedicated all three of his books to his mother, Jeanette.
  • The "P" stands for Paul.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked All Aunt Hagar's Children, try these:

  • The Office of Historical Corrections jacket

    The Office of Historical Corrections

    by Danielle Evans

    Published 2021

    About this book

    The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history.

  • The Polished Hoe jacket

    The Polished Hoe

    by Austin Clarke

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More by this author

    Set in the period following World War II, The Polished Hoe unravels over the course of twenty-four hours but spans the lifetime of one woman and the collective experience of a society characterized by slavery.

We have 4 read-alikes for All Aunt Hagar's Children, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Edward Jones
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Ascent
    The Ascent
    by Adam Plantinga
    Adam Plantinga's brilliant debut novel, The Ascent, introduces readers to former Detroit police ...
  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.