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ˆIl ‰mondo conosciuto (2003)

di Edward P. Jones

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6,2441471,218 (3.77)256
In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues. In a daring and ambitious novel, Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities.… (altro)
  1. 60
    Amatissima di Toni Morrison (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 31
    Property di Valerie Martin (Alirob)
  3. 20
    Le confessioni di Nat Turner di William Styron (Widsith)
    Widsith: The obvious companion-piece...both Pulitzer-winning novels about slavery in 19th-century Virginia
  4. 20
    The Book of Night Women di Marlon James (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: quite different setting and story of slavery but equally gorgeous literary style
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    Cane River di Lalita Tademy (cataylor)
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    Sweetsmoke di David Fuller (sungene)
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Inglese (143)  Olandese (1)  Tedesco (1)  Spagnolo (1)  Tutte le lingue (146)
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I read something in Fullment about how "gentrification" and such things changed the world from the neighborhoods descroped by Edward P. Jones into white gentrification. So I looked for and Edward P. Jones book and came up with this. Obviously, the reference from Fulfillment wasn't referring to this book. Likely it was referring to other books by Jones that contained short stories about people in the referenced neighborhoods.

This book was a novel set in Ante Bellum, Virginia. We are concerned with a county wherein people had plantations and enslaved people. But, some of the enslaved people bought their freedom and that of their spouses and children. But then, once freed, set up their own plantations, in which they had enslaved people doing the work. That was the way the economy worked in those days, force other people to do the drudge work for free.

I'm not sure it ever occurred to me that African Americans, who were once enslaved, would, once free, enslave others of their race. Lots to ponder here.
( )
  lgpiper | Sep 7, 2021 |
A fascinating look at life on the plantation of a freed slave who goes on to become a slave owner himself. Even the most minor characters are drawn in incredible detail and given such background and context that you feel as if you were living history.

There is a lot of heartbreak, suffering, and cruelty in this book, and some people who you richly wish would see justice don't, just as in real life. But you're also left with a sense of the tenacity and spirit of those who survived slavery.
( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
historical fiction. the lives of freemen and slaves, and all the shades in between, as pertains to their civil and legal rights (or lack thereof) and their human entanglements. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
3 1/2 stars. Interesting book dealing with slavery and specifically some slave owners that were black, which is not something I had heard of before. Huge cast of flawed characters so there were no clear heroes and villains. (Ok maybe there were a few simply awful people, but most were not)

I would have given the book 4 stars, but I found the story telling a little jumpy, and hard to follow at times. It was told from an omniscient point of view, and there were times you would meet a character and learned immediately how they died 50 years later in between telling of their present and past. I don't recall reading another book that has used this non-linear technique in quite this way, and I found it clever, but distracting. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Terrific. The story of a black man who owned slaves, except we get to know him only after he has died through the stories of his family and slaves. The characters are unforgettable. ( )
  ghefferon | Mar 13, 2021 |
Among the many triumphs of ''The Known World,'' not the least is Jones's transformation of a little-known footnote in history into a story that goes right to the heart of slavery. There are few certified villains in this novel, white or black, because slavery poisons moral judgments at the root
aggiunto da charl08 | modificaNew York Times
 
One great achievement of Edward Jones's Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Known World is the circumscription of its moral vision, which locates the struggle between good and evil not in the vicissitudes of the diabolical slaveholding system of the American south, but inside the consciousness of each person, black or white, slave or free, who attempts to flourish within that soul-deadening system
 
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My soul's often wondered how I got over. . . .
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TO MY BROTHER
JOSEPH V. JONES

And, again,

TO THE MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER
JEANETTE S.M. JONES
who could have done much more in a better world.

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The evening his master died he worked again well after he ended the day for the other adults, his own wife among them, and sent them back with hunger and tiredness to their cabins.
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In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues. In a daring and ambitious novel, Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities.

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