Edward P. Jones

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Edward P. Jones
Born (1950-10-05) October 5, 1950 (age 72)
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Alma materCollege of the Holy Cross
University of Virginia
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Fiction
International Dublin Literary Award
MacArthur Fellowship

Edward Paul Jones (born October 5, 1950) is an American novelist and short story writer. His 2003 novel The Known World received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the International Dublin Literary Award.


Edward Paul Jones was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He was educated at Cardozo High School, the College of the Holy Cross, and the University of Virginia.[1][2]

His first book, Lost in the City (1992), is a collection of short stories about the African-American working class in 20th-century Washington, D.C. In the early stories are some who are like first-generation immigrants, as they have come to the city as part of the Great Migration from the rural South.

His second book, The Known World, was set in a fictional Virginia county and had a protagonist who was a Black planter and slaveholder. It won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2005 International Dublin Literary Award.

Jones's third book, All Aunt Hagar's Children, was published in 2006. Like Lost in the City, it is a collection of short stories that deal with African Americans, mostly in Washington, D.C. Several of the stories had been previously published in The New Yorker magazine. The stories in the book take up the lives of ancillary characters in Lost in the City. In 2007, it was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, which was won by Philip Roth's Everyman.

The stories of Jones' first and third book are connected. As Wyatt Mason wrote in Harper's Magazine in 2006:

The fourteen stories of All Aunt Hagar's Children revisit not merely the city of Washington but the fourteen stories of Lost in the City. Each new story—and many of them, in their completeness, feel like fully realized little novels—is connected in the same sequence, as if umbilically, to the corresponding story in the first book. Literature is, of course, littered with sequels—its Rabbits and Bechs; its Zuckermans and Kepeshes—but this is not, in the main, Jones’s idea of a reprise. Each revisitation provides a different kind of interplay between the two collections.[3]

Neely Tucker wrote in 2009:

It's gone almost completely unnoticed, but the two collections are a matched set: There are 14 stories in Lost, ordered from the youngest to the oldest character, and there are 14 stories in Hagar's, also ordered from youngest to oldest character. The first story in the first book is connected to the first story in the second book, and so on. To get the full history of the characters, one must read the first story in each book, then go to the second story in each, and so on.[4]

In the spring and fall semesters of 2009, Jones was a visiting professor of creative writing at the George Washington University.[5] In fall 2010 he joined the English department faculty to teach creative writing.[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]



  1. ^ Neely, Tucker (November 15, 2009). "The Known World of Edward P. Jones". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  2. ^ Swarns, Rachel L. (October 16, 2003). "Hard Times Propel Two Novelists Along the Road to Recognition". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Mason, Wyatt (September 2006). "Ballad for Americans: The Stories of Edward P. Jones". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Daniel Silliman, "Abutting the Unknown", Comment, June 11, 2010.
  5. ^ Scire, Sarah (June 13, 2008). "University receives $1 million donation for library collection, sponsored professorship". The GW Hatchet. Archived from the original on August 31, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Scire, Sarah (January 11, 2010). "Pulitzer Prize winner will join English department". The GW Hatchet. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Edward P. Jones". National Book Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  8. ^ Edward P. Jones Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, 1994.
  9. ^ "Edward P. Jones". Pulitzer Prize. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  10. ^ Battersby, Eileen (June 16, 2005). "A winner that deserves to be known to world". Irish Times. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  11. ^ "Edward P. Jones". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

External links[edit]