HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Loading...

The Known World (original 2003; edition 2006)

by Edward P. Jones

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,119128871 (3.76)215
Member:harryo19
Title:The Known World
Authors:Edward P. Jones
Info:Amistad (2006), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003)

  1. 30
    Beloved by Toni Morrison (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 20
    Cane River by Lalita Tademy (cataylor)
  3. 20
    Property by Valerie Martin (Alirob)
  4. 10
    The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: quite different setting and story of slavery but equally gorgeous literary style
  5. 10
    Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (sungene)
  6. 10
    The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (Widsith)
    Widsith: The obvious companion-piece...both Pulitzer-winning novels about slavery in 19th-century Virginia
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 215 mentions

English (126)  Dutch (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Henry Townsend is a black farmer, former slave, and, with his wife Caledonia, a slave-owner in pre-Civil War Virginia. This book looks at the moral complexities of slavery from the unusual viewpoint of black slave owners. The writing is excellent, with overlapping plots, shifting points of view, a large cast of characters over long and shifting time periods, with vivid and exquisite detail of life during this time. This was not an easy book to read, as it is not linear and straight-forward in style, but it is well-worth the effort. It is a book I highly recommend.

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 8, 2016 |
Perhaps 2 1/2 stars. I found it interesting enough to finish, partly because the reader of the audiobook, Kevin Free did a fantastic job. (The only thing I didn't like was that the editors didn't give the last sentence of the book a little time to sink in before the moved on to an interview with the author.)
I was anxious to finish and then see what comments other readers have made about this prize winning book. The characters were many and varied, and I did like the fact that the author could show good and bad in each - a human condition.What I didn't care for was the organization of the book. You're introduced to a character, are told how they're going to die and when, then back in time to a time before their first introduction, and then into the future again. Then you're on to the next character and given information about their relationship to other characters, and glimpse of the future, perhaps some of their past, who they will marry, what happened to them as a child. And so it goes with many many characters in the book. Certainly not a linear book, and if that's appealing to you then perhaps you'll enjoy it more than I did.
I did enjoy many of the descriptions, eloquently worded about both the environment, and the feelings and internal conflicts the characters faced.
Interesting, but it's not a book I will likely read again. ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
What an extraordinary work! Henry Townsend, once a slave but now a free man, has his own plantation, and nearly 50 slaves. The lives of whites, free blacks and slaves are interconnected on so many levels. Layers of nuance - expectation, reality, societal roles, how people adapt and adjust, justice and especially injustice. Beautifully written!

The writing style and extensive character list requires some work on the part of the reader, but it's well worth it. It reads much like an oral history, and that means that you may go off on a tangent for a while. It certainly treats slavery from a different perspective - Black owners of slaves. ( )
1 vote BookConcierge | Feb 12, 2016 |
An engrossing, troubling saga encompassing about 40 years in the early 1800's and a number of families in rural Virginia through which slavery and racism is viewed from many angles. ( )
  snash | Feb 7, 2016 |
A difficult look at all the moral issues of slavery. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Among the many triumphs of ''The Known World,'' not the least is Jones's transformation of a little-known footnote in history into a story that goes right to the heart of slavery. There are few certified villains in this novel, white or black, because slavery poisons moral judgments at the root
added by charl08 | editNew York Times
 
One great achievement of Edward Jones's Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Known World is the circumscription of its moral vision, which locates the struggle between good and evil not in the vicissitudes of the diabolical slaveholding system of the American south, but inside the consciousness of each person, black or white, slave or free, who attempts to flourish within that soul-deadening system
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
My soul's often wondered how I got over. . . .
Dedication
TO MY BROTHER
JOSEPH V. JONES

And, again,

TO THE MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER
JEANETTE S.M. JONES
who could have done much more in a better world.

First words
The evening his master died he worked again well after he ended the day for the other adults, his own wife among them, and sent them back with hunger and tiredness to their cabins.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Set in Manchester County, Virginia, 20 years before the Civil War began, Edward P. Jones's debut novel, The Known World, is a masterpiece of overlapping plot lines, time shifts, and heartbreaking details of life under slavery. Caldonia Townsend is an educated black slaveowner, the widow of a well-loved young farmer named Henry, whose parents had bought their own freedom, and then freed their son, only to watch him buy himself a slave as soon as he had saved enough money. Although a fair and gentle master by the standards of the day, Henry Townsend had learned from former master about the proper distance to keep from one's property. After his death, his slaves wonder if Caldonia will free them. When she fails to do so, but instead breaches the code that keeps them separate from her, a little piece of Manchester County begins to unravel. Impossible to rush through, The Known World is a complex, beautifully written novel with a large cast of characters, rewarding the patient reader with unexpected connections, some reaching into the present day.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061159174, Paperback)

Set in Manchester County, Virginia, 20 years before the Civil War began, Edward P. Jones's debut novel, The Known World, is a masterpiece of overlapping plot lines, time shifts, and heartbreaking details of life under slavery. Caldonia Townsend is an educated black slaveowner, the widow of a well-loved young farmer named Henry, whose parents had bought their own freedom, and then freed their son, only to watch him buy himself a slave as soon as he had saved enough money. Although a fair and gentle master by the standards of the day, Henry Townsend had learned from former master about the proper distance to keep from one's property. After his death, his slaves wonder if Caldonia will free them. When she fails to do so, but instead breaches the code that keeps them separate from her, a little piece of Manchester County begins to unravel. Impossible to rush through, The Known World is a complex, beautifully written novel with a large cast of characters, rewarding the patient reader with unexpected connections, some reaching into the present day. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:12 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When a plantation proprietor and former slave--now possessing slaves of his own--dies, his household falls apart in the wake of a slave rebellion and corrupt underpaid patrollers who enable free black people to be sold into slavery.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
289 avail.
52 wanted
3 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.76)
0.5 1
1 30
1.5 7
2 67
2.5 21
3 228
3.5 68
4 371
4.5 67
5 242

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,266,301 books! | Top bar: Always visible