Review: The Known World

Edward P. Jones (2003)

This was a thoroughly enriching reading experience. Beautifully written with an unusual and engrossing story about black slave owners in pre-Civil War Virginia. Jones’ prose is dense and layered, and yet very readable, as it shifts between characters, time and place in the span of a single paragraph. His style is captivating and challenging without ever making you feel like you’re working too hard. It’s easy to see why this Pulitzer Prize-winner is a favorite of book clubs across the country–everything about The Known World makes it fodder for a great discussion.

I guarantee that by the time you’ve finished reading this book, you’ve been to this place, you know these characters, and you’re invested in their lives. This book is one to keep on the shelf and pull off in ten years time, to read and enjoy all over again. For someone with a hundred-plus new books on her bookshelves waiting to be read, that’s the highest praise.  [*****]

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4 Responses

  1. Teresa

    I’m currently reading it. As a Virginian, I have a few problems with it – hopefully it will redeem itself by the end. The Bookclub that I’m reading this with meets next Tuesday. As I mentioned before, we’ll be speaking with the author. I’ll be sure to report back. I won’t be too hard on him. 🙂

  2. The Known World: A commentary.

    Kathryn urged me to join a new book club at a bookstore near my house. Plus, it was quite a coup getting the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Known World, Edward P. Jones, to call in and hold a

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