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The Known World

The Known World
First edition cover
Author Edward P. Jones
Cover artist Cover design by Laura Blost, Cover photograph copyright Eudora Welty, LLC; Eudora Welty
Country United States
Language English
Genre Historical, Novel
Publisher Amistad Press
Publication date
September 2003
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 400 pp
OCLC 51519698
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3560.O4813 K58 2003

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

The book was published to widespread acclaim from literary critics, with much praise directed at its story and Jones' prose.


  • Awards and nominations 1
  • References 2
  • Scholarship 3
  • External links 4

Awards and nominations

The novel won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004.[1][2] In 2005 it won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the richest literary awards for a novel in the English language.[3] It was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award.[4]

In 2009, website The Millions polled 48 critics, writers, and editors; the panel voted The Known World the second best novel since 2000.[5]


  1. ^ National Book Critics Circle Award past winners, Official Website.
  2. ^ 'The Known World' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The New York Times.
  3. ^ "The Known World by Edward P. Jones wins the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award", Official Website.
  4. ^ "2003 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Millions : Best of the Millennium, Pros Versus Readers". The Millions. 


  • Tim A. Ryan, “Mapping the Unrepresentable: Slavery Fiction in the New Millennium.” Calls and Responses: The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2008: 185-208.

External links




  • Photos of the first edition of The Known World
  • Two-part essay on Jones' use of a godlike omniscient narrator in "The Known World": Part 1, Part 2.

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