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Publication Summary

A babsence farmer, bootmaker and also former servant becomes proprietor of his own plantation, and of his own servants, in this ambitious, luminously written novel that arrays seamlessly between the past and also future and back again to the current. Excerpt contains content exclusive to neurosoup.org.

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Henry Townsfinish, a babsence farmer, bootmaker, and previous slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unexplained mentor -- William Robbins, probably the the majority of powerful man in antebellum Virginia"s Manchester County. Under Robbins"s tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his very own plantation -- and of his very own servants. When he dies, his widow, Caldonia, succumbs to prouncovered grief, and things begin to fall apart at their plantation: servants require to escaping under the cover of night, and households that had actually once found love beneath the weight of slaexceptionally start to betray one an additional. Beyond the Townsfinish estate, the known human being additionally unravels: low-passist white patrollers stand watch as servant "speculators" market free black world right into slavery, and also rumors of slave rebellions set white households against servants that have served them for years.An ambitious, luminously created novel that arrays seamlessly in between the past and future and ago aget to the present, The Known World weaves together the resides of freed and also enslaved blacks, whites, and Indians -- and allows every one of us a deeper knowledge of the enin the time of multidimensional world created by the school of slaincredibly.Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Chapter OneLiaikid. The Warmth of Family.Stormy Weather.

The evening his understand died he operated aget well after he finished the day for the other adults, his own wife among them, and also sent out them earlier via hunger and tiredness to their cabins. The young ones, his boy among them, had been sent of the areas an hour or so prior to the adults, to prepare the late supper and, if tright here was time enough, to play in the few minutes of sunlight that were left. When he, Moses, finally freed himself of the prehistoric and brittle harness that connected him to the earliest mule his grasp owned, all that was left of the sun was a five-inch-lengthy memory of red orange laid out in still waves throughout the horizon in between 2 hills on the left and also one on the ideal. He had remained in the areas for every one of fourteenager hours. He paprovided before leaving the fields as the evening quiet wrapped itself about him. The mule quivered, wanting home and also rest. Moses closed his eyes and bent down and took a pinch of the soil and also...

Please be conscious that this discussion overview might contain spoilers!Questions for Discussion Why is the character of Moses significant to the novel? How would you characterize his partnership via Henry and Caldonia Townsend? What about with his wife and also child?What is the definition of the title, The Known World? What "well-known world" is charted in John Skiffington"s map in the jail? What civilization is charted in The Creation described by Calvin in his letter to his sister Caldonia? What function does the land and its boundaries play in this book?Who is William Robbins and also how does he impact the resides of blacks on bordering plantations? Did you uncover his relationships through Henry, Augustus, and Mildred Townsend, and Philomena, Dora, and Louis compelling?What is the meaning of the Augustus Townsend...
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Media Reviews


If Jones. . .keeps up this level of work, he"ll equal the finest fiction Toni Morrison has actually written about being black in America. Newsweek
With hard-won wisdom and hugely reliable understatement, Mr. Jones explores the unsettling, contradiction-vulnerable people of a Virginia slaveholder that happens to be babsence. Baltimore Sun
The Known World is a good novel, one that might ultimately be placed with the finest of Amerihave the right to Literature. The Washington Article - Jonathan Yardley
This extrasimple novel -- the ideal brand-new work-related of Amerihave the right to fiction to cross my desk in years -- takes as its topic one of the most peculiar anomalies of that endlessly provocative and also troubling topic In the antebellum South, where whites systematically enslaved blacks, there were totally free blacks that themselves owned babsence slaves. The New Yorker
Jones has actually created a book of remarkable ethical intricacy no relationship here is left unchanged by the bonds of ownership, and also liberty eludes the majority of of Manchester County"s citizens, not just its servants. Publishers Weekly
In a crabbed, effective follow-approximately his National Publication Award-nominated brief story arsenal (Lost in the City), Jones explores an oft-neglected chapter of American background, the people of blacks that owned blacks in the antebellum South. Library Journal - Edward B St.John
A fascinating look at a painful layout, this book is a suitable option for book clubs. Highly recommended. Kirkus Reviews
The particulars and results of the right of people to own various other people are dramatized via unprecedented resourcefulness and intensity, in a harrowing tale that scarcely ever before raises its voice...This will mean a good deal to an excellent many type of human being. It should be a major prize challenger, and it won"t be forgotten.
Peter Matthiessen

A solid, intricate, daring book by a writer of deep compassion and also unwidespread presents.

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Reader Reviews


A difficult check out, yet well worth the effort "The Knvery own World" has a discursive, character moved storyline. It is difficult to read, however its expedition of timeless themes provides it well worth the effort. At times I nearly put it dvery own, yet save reading! You will be glad you did, bereason ... Read More
A Known World I delighted in this book immensely though tbelow are some disturbing parts. The writing style was a little disjointed as the writer would certainly jump back and also forth in durations yet that likewise included to the story. In reality, the method he wrote the book it seemed more ... Read More
The storyline was interesting however the composing made reading the story laborius. I started to skim via chapters and then offered up.
Membership AdvantagesReviews"Beyond the Book" articlesFree publications to review and also testimonial (US only)Find books by time period, establishing & themeRead-achoose suggestions by book and also authorBook club discussionsand also a lot more! Just $12 for 3 months or$39 for a year.