The College Reads!, the College of Charleston’s common reading program announces that Pulitzer-prize winning author Edward P. Jones will read from The Known World and respond to questions next week on Tuesday, November 1 at 5:00pm in TD Arena(formerly the Carolina First Arena). The free event will be held in TD Arena located at 301 Meeting Street. Everyone is invited to attend and no tickets are required for entry.
Edward P. Jones, The New York Times bestselling author, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, National Book Critics Circle Award, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World. He is also a MacArthur Fellowship recipient. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a number of universities, including Princeton University, and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
The Known World is set in Virginia in the decade before the Civil War. Throughout the novel, he examines the complicated lives of African Americans – those who were enslaved and those who were free – in a way that calls into question the process of drawing easy conclusions about race, class and gender. He does this by telling the story from many points of view – among them, those of African American slave owners who were a rarity in the American South at that time. As we read The Known World as a community with its own difficult relationship to both the history and the still-extant legacies of the Civil War, we will take Jones’ rendering as a point of inquiry as we move forward through the year’s related events.
In the coming month, the following related events are planned:
Professor Consuela Francis will be leading a book discussion on The Known World at the St. Andrews branch of the CCPL on Thursday, November 10 at 6:30pm. Everyone is welcome.
“Understanding The Known World: A Panel Discussion” on Wednesday, November 16, 4 p.m. in the New Science Building, Room 129. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.
Please visit the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World’s Digital Initiatives page to find information on Free Persons of Color in Charleston. An interactive map will take you on a virtual tour of some of the sites associated with Free Persons of Color in the Charleston area. Additional source material is also available. This site is part of the “Rendering Things Visible” project, an ongoing effort to expand and enhance the presentation of previously invisible histories of the African-American experience.