The Pulitzer Prize For Fiction

2004 - Edward P. Jones

Born: 5 October 1950; Washington, D.C.

Awarded for: "The Known World"

Prize Motivation: "Edward P. Jones, the New York Times bestselling author, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World; he also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004."

Field: Fiction


Books Written By Edward P. Jones

About Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones was born in Washington, D.C. in 1950. He attended the local public schools and won a scholarship to Holy Cross College. Seven years after he graduated from college, he earned his M.F. A. at the University of Virginia. After a series of jobs, he began working for a tax newsletter, first as a proof reader and then eventually as a columnist, a position he held for more than ten years. During this time Jones kept on writing. His first short story was published in ESSENCE in 1976. Since then he has had stories published in THE NEW YORKER, THE PARIS REVIEW, PLOUGHSHARES and CALLALOO. He has taught creative writing at the University of Virginia, George Mason University, the University of Maryland, and Princeton University.

Edward Jones' first collection of short stories, LOST IN THE CITY, was published in 1992 and won the PEN/Hemingway Award, was short-listed for the National Book Award, and was the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Award.

Jones' first novel, THE KNOWN WORLD (2003), received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and he was named a MacArthur fellow for 2004. ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN, his latest collection of short stories, was published in 2006.


The Known World - Edward P. Jones

By Maya J.

The Known World is a literary masterpiece. In beginning the book, you wonder how hard it will be to read in the manner of mid-19th century country/slave vernacular, but in page after page, the language just flows, and there is no denying the language is painting a picture of who these people are. There are numerous characters, yet they are so vivid in their representation, it is impossible to get confused as to who did what. Some of the characters you love, and of course, others are just repugnant. As I read The Known World, I felt I could actually hear the singing in the field, smell the smells of the slave barracks, and see the humid, torrid heat of the southern countryside. It's not a typical story about slavery. Former slaves owning slaves is a part of our national footprint I don't think has been written about much. Now, thanks to Edward P. Jones, we possess a manuscript of an amazingly enlightened view of this old world phenomenon. In addition, Edward P. Jones' writing is so eloquent and fluent in the nature of "this world", you wonder if he could have actually lived it. It is a beautiful story that, although sad, is also compelling and makes you feel smug and small in the scheme of this "Known World".

The Known World - Edward P. Jones

By Patricia Fergusen

This is a powerful and absorbing book with an unusual format - lots of interweaving stories and jumps forward in time as well as backwards. I enjoyed the huge cast,though perhaps an actual list at the end would have been helpful at first. I felt I understood for the first time how slavery actually worked, and how completely it corrupted everyone involved. There are terrible cruelties in this book, all conveyed in beautifully "simple" prose, amd with an encompassing sympathy that makes even the most intransigent slave-owner still seem human. We judge everyone; but the author doesn't. He is simply showing us how it was. The Known World is a masterpiece.