The Known World

The Known World

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The Known World

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The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. It was his first novel and second book. Set in antebellum Virginia, it examines issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by free black people as well as by whites. A book with many points of view, The Known World paints an enormous canvas thick with personalities and situations that show how slavery destroys but can also be transcended.

Awards and nominations

The novel won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004., The New York Times In 2005 it won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the literary prize with the world's largest purse.



  • Tim A. Ryan, “Mapping the Unrepresentable: Slavery Fiction in the New Millennium.” Calls and Responses: The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2008: 185-208.

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