The Known World (Today Show Book Club # 17)

 
9780060569433: The Known World (Today Show Book Club # 17)

Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor -- William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation -- as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart:slaves take to escaping under the cover of night, and families who had once found love beneath the weight of slavery begin to betray one another. Beyond the Townsend estate, the know world also unravels: low-paid white patrollers stand watch as slave "speculators" sell free black people into slavery, and rumor os slave rebellions set white families against slaves who have served them for years.

An ambitious, luminously written novel that ranges seamlessly between the past and future and back again to the present, The Known World weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, white, and Indians -- and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.

Read by Kevin Free.

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Review:

Set in Manchester County, Virginia, 20 years before the Civil War began, Edward P. Jones's debut novel, The Known World, is a masterpiece of overlapping plot lines, time shifts, and heartbreaking details of life under slavery. Caldonia Townsend is an educated black slaveowner, the widow of a well-loved young farmer named Henry, whose parents had bought their own freedom, and then freed their son, only to watch him buy himself a slave as soon as he had saved enough money. Although a fair and gentle master by the standards of the day, Henry Townsend had learned from former master about the proper distance to keep from one's property. After his death, his slaves wonder if Caldonia will free them. When she fails to do so, but instead breaches the code that keeps them separate from her, a little piece of Manchester County begins to unravel. Impossible to rush through, The Known World is a complex, beautifully written novel with a large cast of characters, rewarding the patient reader with unexpected connections, some reaching into the present day. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

Edward P. Jones was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award and recipient of the Lannan Foundation Grant, Jones was educated at Holy Cross College and the University of Virginia. His first book, Lost in the City was originally published by William Morrow in 1992 and shortlisted for the National Book Award. Mr. Jones was named a National Book Award finalist for a second time with the publication of his debut novel The Known World which subsequently won the prestigious 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

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Book Description HarperAudio, U.S.A., 2003. AUDIO CASSETTE. Book Condition: Good. 10 AUDIO CASSETTES in the original printed box. We will test each cassette, prior to shipping, for a nice sound. You will receive a good set. Enjoy this reliable AUDIO CASSETTE performance. Audio Book. Bookseller Inventory # 032720161357574

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Book Description Harperaudio, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2003. Audio Book. Book Condition: Good. 10 RELIABLE and sturdy audio cassette tapes withdrawn from the library. Some shelf wear and library markings to the clamshell box and the cassettes. The ten cassettes sit inside tested and clear sounding. Enjoy this worthwhile unabridged audio performance!. Bookseller Inventory # L10Audio4151039

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Book Description Amistad Press, New York, 2003. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Advance Reader's Edition, First Edition. 6 By 9 Inches Tall. This first edition, advance reader's edition, softcover book is in near fine condition with very slight edge wear. Advanced Reading Copy (ARC). Bookseller Inventory # 002458

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