|Edward P. Jones|
More than ten years after his first collection of short stories was nominated for a National Book Award, Edward P. Jones's second book (and first novel) created an even bigger critical stir. Jonathan Yardley called The Known World, about a black slaveholder in the antebellum South, "the best new work of American fiction to cross my desk in years."
Read the interview
Exclusive: See our video interview with Jones (4:04)
Edward P. Jones at Barnes & Noble.
Edward P. Jones
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1950
Place of Birth:
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1972; M.F.A., University of Virginia, 1981
PEN-Hemingway Foundation Award for Best First Fiction for Lost in the City, 1992; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Known World, 2004
|The Pulitzer Prize Winner|
|The Known World|
Edward P. Jones
In this stunning follow-up to his National Book Award-nominated short fiction collection, Lost in the City, Jones illuminates a phenomenon in our country's history that is shrouded in secrecy -- the ownership of slaves by African Americans in the antebellum South. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel was critically hailed as one of the most significant works of 2003.
Read a chapter
|A Writer's Research|
|When researching The Known World, Jones confessed to NPR in an interview that he collected two shelves' worth of texts on slavery, but never got around to reading them. "I decided the people I'd created were real enough and I had just accumulated enough information about what the world was like in the South before 1865 to allow me to lie and get away with it," he admitted.|
"From the first ringing of the alarm clock, I was in the urban world of Chicago, but it was as familiar as D.C.," Jones recalls of his experience reading Richard Wright's Native Son. "The people were the same, what they did, good and bad, were the same; it was Wright's Chicago, but it was home for me."
Jones also mentions Charlotte Brontë's classic Jane Eyre as a book that had an impact. "When I think of that book, it conjures up the best moments of college English courses," he reflects. "Literature is extraordinary, especially when you have a good professor." Read our interview to learn more about Jones's best-loved books, including: