Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I've read and enjoyed two books by Edward P. Jones recently. They seem to be pretty acclaimed but I haven't actually met anyone else who has read them or is familiar with Jones.

The stories and themes are compelling, and I must comment that I found the actual execution of the writing impressive. The quality of writing really stood out next to a lot of other stuff I've read recently.

All Aunt Hagar's Children is his recent story collection. A lot of the stories focus on the African American experience in and around Washington D.C. at a variety of points in history. The class consciousness that is tied in with race and gender experience is really interesting.

The Known World was Jones' first novel.

It's set in antebellum Manchester County, Virginia and centers on the experience of Henry Townshend. Henry buys his freedom from his master, and soon after buys land and later slaves from his former master. It's a complex and very well done novel.

HarperCollins page

Full text of Old Boys, New Girls
from The New Yorker (it appears in All Aunt Hagar's Children)

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