The Known World

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The Known World
EdwardPJones TheKnownWorld.jpg
Second edition cover
AuthorEdward P. Jones
Cover artistCover design by Laura Blost, Cover photograph copyright Eudora Welty
CountryUnited States
GenreHistorical, Novel
PublisherAmistad Press
Publication date
September 2003
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages400 pp
813/.54 21
LC ClassPS3560.O4813 K58 2003

The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. Set in Virginia during the antebellum era, it examines the issues regarding the ownership of Black slaves by both white and Black Americans.

The book was published to acclaim, which praised its story and Jones's prose. In particular, his ability to intertwine stories within stories received great praise from The New York Times.[1]

The narration of The Known World is from the perspective of an omniscient figure who does not voice judgment.[2] This allows the reader to experience the story without bias.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The novel won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004.[3][4] In 2005, it won the International Dublin Literary Award, one of the richest literary awards for a novel in the English language.[5] It was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award.[6]

In 2009, the website The Millions polled 48 critics, writers, and editors; the panel voted The Known World the second best novel since 2000.[7] In 2015, the BBC polled American critics and ranked The Known World the "second greatest novel of the 21st century so far".[8]


  1. ^ Vernon, John (2003-08-31). "People Who Owned People". NYtimes. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Valerie (2004-07-30). "The Guardian". The Means of Evil. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  3. ^ National Book Critics Circle Award past winners, Official Website.
  4. ^ 'The Known World' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The New York Times.
  5. ^ "The Known World by Edward P. Jones wins the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award" Archived 2007-04-22 at the Wayback Machine, Official Website.
  6. ^ "2003 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  7. ^ "The Millions : Best of the Millennium, Pros Versus Readers". The Millions.
  8. ^ Ciabattari, Jane. "The 21st Century's 12 greatest novels". Retrieved November 12, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]




Preceded by International Dublin Literary Award recipient
Succeeded by