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The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Published by Harper Perennial, 2004

Henry Townsend, a black farmer, boot maker, and former slave becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow, Caldonia, succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart at their plantation. Beyond the Townsend estate, the known world also unravels. Ranging seamlessly between the past and future and back again to the present, The Known World weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites and Indians allowing all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.

‘ Edward P. Jones has created a richly imagined novel, in which a multitude of moral contradictions are revealed and explored. ......... Jones loops backwards and forward from the day of Henry's death, in prose that is generally measured and restrained, but with passages of intense lyricism and outbursts of casual savagery. Vividly conceived and profoundly humane, The Known World is a remarkable re-creation of a world we might have thought we already knew.’ From the Judges of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

‘A masterpiece’ Time Magazine

'A powerful experience. Rich in character and plot.' Guardian

‘ Extraordinary……The best new work of American fiction to cross my desk in years’
Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

Edward P. Jones was born and raised in Washington, D.C. The Known World won the prestigious 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The book also won the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The IMPAC Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind.

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