Edward P. Jones {Download Read} The Known World

Characters The Known World

H takes him unexpectedly his widow Caldonia can't uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexiti In this book I learned that there used to be black slaveholders in the US I thought that only white people were allowed to own slaves during the time that owning slaves were like owning properties During that pre Abolition time During those sad dark days in the American historyBlack Edward P Jones born 1951 wrote this historical epic novel The Known World based on the not well known fact that there were some black slaveholders black people owning black slaves in the state of Virginia during the time in the US when owning slave is legal Wikipedia has this to say Slavery in the United States was a form of unfree labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776 and continued mostly in the South until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 18651 The first English colony in North America Virginia first imported Africans in 1619 a practice earlier established in the Spanish colonies as early as the 1560s2 Most slaves were black and were held by whites although some Native Americans and free blacks also held slaves there were a small number of white slaves as well3 Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Award for Fiction The Known World is one of the most memorable reads I had this year It is not an easy book to read This 388 page novel left me with a heavy chest each time I closed the book Each page is gloomy and sad The novel is well told with lyrical prose creating a big canvas of imagery in one s mind while reading In that big canvas are memorable and three dimensional numerous characters most of them black slaves No character is downright bad or good The detailed description of the sceneries of a fictional county called Manchester and the true depictions of the characters are exceptionally striking that I had to slow down in my reading to savor the story and hold on tugging to them cheering them on to each characters Reading the last page left me with a heavy heart I would not want to let go of that image of Manchester and say goodbye Please don t go yet to the characters that I already became part of my literary world The world that resides in the recesses of my brain The world that is known only to me populated by people who I met only in my readings In terms of writing Jones extensively use the techniue called prolepsis that I first encountered reading Muriel Sparks The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1961 Jones explained this in the interview appendix of the book saying that he is the God of those characters so he knows what happened in the life of each characters from the time heshe was born up to the time hisher death The most moving example of this use was with the character of the child Tessie One fine day of September 1855 their mistress Caldonia saw the 5 yo Tessie playing with a wooden toy horse Caldonia says to the child That is very nice Tessie to which Tessie responded My papa did this for me In January 2002 on her deathbed the old Tessie asked her caretaker to get the wooden toy horse from the attic While holding the toy she breathed her last saying the same thing My papa did this for me My heart stopped beating Tears welled up in my eyes That scene is just one of the many moving scenes about those slaves in that time of the history in Virginia when black people were traded like they were not human but propertiesI can make this review very long There are just too many good things I would like to say here but I am afraid that no review can make justice to a book as good as this

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The Known World

One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory The Known World is a daring and ambitious work by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P Jones The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend a black farmer and former Manchester County Virginia doesn t exist Never has After reading The Known World however you d be forgiven if you thought you could take a tour of it s plantations and slave cemetaries on your vacation to colonial Williamsburg The complicated pre civil war Southern society that Edward P Jones creates feels as real and surreal as any factual history of slavery you ve read It was not so much the story of Henry Townsend a black slave owner and all the people that his death allows us to meet that engaged me It was the world a world where I could taste the soil I might till and the women I might marry and the terrible choices I might be faced with that put it s claws in me and refused to let goIt took me nearly 2 months to finish the book s 388 pages It should ve been a uick read It is a fascinating place with peculiar problems and characters I cried for on than one occasion It should ve been a uick read but I kept asking myself this uestion who would I have been The slave toiling away in the field The overseer unable to see the world for what it truly was The freed man working desperately to free the rest of his family The smart child taken under the wing of the rich white slave owner and convinced that there was nothing wrong with owning another human being The broken black man tortured by his family s wealth built on the backs of men and women that look just like me The slave too proud too strong too powerful to let another take his freedom Who would I have beenWho am I nowIn matters of race there is always that fool s point usually made by a white person though not always that askswhy aren t you over it already Can t we just let it go It is a way to end an uncomfortable conversation The reasons don t matter I know many a person for which the sticky tar baby of race in America is simply a discussion they can t stick their hands in It is too difficult Too raw Too cloudy to be sure that people will remain friends after an honest chat The way I feel when I read books like The Known World is my answer No matter how well adjusted how integrated how loving of my fellow man how multiculti kumbayah I am I m not over it I can t let it goThis fictional world was very real not all that long ago It s effects still ripple through our every day The world I know doesn t exist without itHighly highly recommended

Edward P. Jones ¾ 2 Free read

Slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins the most powerful man in Manchester County Virginia Making certain he never circumvents the law Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline But when deat I m going to have to rave a bit because this is one of the best books I ve read in the past ten yearsJones packs in all the historical detail you could want and of course he s hit on a subject black slaveowners that in and of itself is tabloid sensational Where lesser writers might lean too hard on the sensational aspect or rely on it to bolster an otherwise weak narrative Jones works it into a compelling and powerful storyWhat makes it so powerful is a mix of fascinating characters who are woven into a series of overlapping plotlines For me it s the structuring that is so brilliant geek alert I actually diagrammed the time shifts in the chapters as an exercise to see when and how Jones yoked the whole thing together This less than linear approach might be frustrating to those who just want things to be straightforward but stick with it the shifts provide suspense as well as texture and they propel than one storyline at once They do all come together trust meI also admire the overarching authorial voice in the novel which certainly leans toward the formal but also comes across as aware of the history it s grappling with here and there Jones projects his voice forward for a moment or seemingly digresses with factual material and research Again it s all part of the tapestry and the mix and I also think that the level of narrative awareness which never disengages long enough to derail anything adds another layer to the very idea of history making the whole historical and contemporary bothAnd for those of you who can do without all of the above writerly blather a thousand pardons you ll find in this book characters who are engaging ignorant cruel earnest sympathetic tragic hopeful flawed in short complicated Halfway through you ll be fighting off the impulse to skip ahead to learn everyone s fateFinally I ll say that this book isn t perfect there are aspects of what I ve described above that sometimes don t work narrative turns that do seem pointless digressions a character or two a bit stereotypical or annoying No matter This book aims high as brilliant works of art do and the result is nothing short of amazing


10 thoughts on “The Known World

  1. says:

    there is that old adage that a good book will tell you how to read it and i have no idea to whom that should be attributed only that my undergrad professors seemed to have been born to uote that thought endlessly in my gothic lit class my enlightenment class my victorian lit class the african and irish lit professors mostly kept their mouth

  2. says:

    Manchester County Virginia doesn't exist Never has After reading The Known World however you'd be forgiven if you thought you could take a tour of it's plantations and slave cemetaries on your vacation to coloni

  3. says:

    I know this is a critically acclaimed book a Pulitzer winner and a book tackling a difficult and complex stain on America history sl

  4. says:

    This is a com

  5. says:

    Dear The Known WorldI'll be blunt I'm breaking things off This just isn't working It's not you; it's me Well maybe it's you too a bitI really thought when we got together that we would have a brief but mutually satisfying relationship I'd read you you'd provide enlightenment or emotional catharsis or entertainment maybe even all three All the signs were there the laudatory uotes on your jacket a shocking and unexpected premise h

  6. says:

    I'm going to have to rave a bit because this is one of the best books I've read in the past ten yearsJones packs in all the historical detail you could want and of course he's hit on a subject black slaveowners that in and of itself is tabloid sensational Where lesser writers might lean too hard on the sensational aspect or rely on it to bols

  7. says:

    In this book I learned that there used to be black slaveholders in the US I thought that only white people were allowed to own slaves during the time that owning slaves were like owning properties During that pre Abolition time During those sad dark days in the American historyBlack Edward P Jones born 1951 wrote this historical epic novel The Known World based on the not well known fact that there were some bl

  8. says:

    A very complex and beautiful compelling book about Henry a former slave who becomes a slave owner his wife Caldonia But they're just t

  9. says:

    This book demands that you read it slowly and intently Like eating a huge Thanksgiving dinner you need to pause and digest before you have the next course At the outset the plot seems to be all over the place bouncing from characte

  10. says:

    Basically a book about slavery in the South I enjoy those kind of thing especially The Secret Lives of Bees but with this one it felt like the book had no point While I was reading I kept on going what did I just read Am I really readingunderstanding this book and kept on referring to the back cover of the book No The story was simply what I read OK Then ugh I HATE leaving a book unread so I kept on forcing myself to read thru the whole boo