THE KNOWN WORLD - Scarce Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing: Signed by Edward P. Jones
1st Printing. Signed. 388 pages. Published in 2003. The author's debut novel. One of the greatest American novels of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Easton Press edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Edward P. Jones' "The Known World". His masterly first novel. Written over a ten-year period by a writer whose breakthrough book, "Lost in the City: Stories", is now also considered a classic, it is one of the most beautifully produced books (by Laura Blost) in recent memory, utilizing a classic photograph by Eudora Welty. "Henry Townsend, born a slave, is purchased and freed by his father, takes lessons in slave owning when he eventually buys his own slaves. Townsend is part of a small enclave of free blacks who own slaves, thus offering another angle on the complexities of slavery and social relations in a Virginia town just before The Civil War. His widow, Caldonia, grief-stricken and more conflicted about slavery than Henry was, fails to maintain the social order. Also caught in the miasma of slavery is Sheriff John Skiffington, an honorable man who, when presented with a slave, spends the remainder of his marriage, along with his wife, dithering about how to deal with the girl and ends up treating her like a daughter. These are only a few of the deftly portrayed characters in this elegantly written novel that explores the interweaving of sex, race, and class. Jones moves back and forth in time, making the reader omniscient, knowing what will eventually befall the characters despite their best and worst efforts, their aspirations, and their moral failings. This is a profoundly beautiful and insightful look at American slavery and human nature" (Publisher's blurb). An absolute "must-have" title for Edward P. Jones collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Edward P. Jones. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page, as the so-called Limited Edition by Easton Press is. As is his custom, Jones also underlined his signature for emphasis. This title is great book. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online command as much as $500. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of PEN/Hemingway Award in 1992 for "Lost In The City: Stories". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004 for "The Known World". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2004. "The Known World" was selected by The New York Times panel of writers, critics, and editors as one of the Top 20 works of American fiction of the last 25 years. One of the finest American writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER EDWARD P. JONES TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0060557540. Bookseller Inventory # 19922
About this title:
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 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 at their plantation: 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 known world also unravels: low-paid white patrollers stand watch as slave "speculators" sell free black people into slavery, and rumors of 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, whites, and Indians -- and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery.
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
Title: THE KNOWN WORLD - Scarce Fine Copy of The ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
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