Synopses & Reviews
In fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, five of which have been published in The New Yorker
, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World
shows that his grasp of the human condition is firmer than ever
Returning to the city that inspired his first prizewinning book, Lost in the City, Jones has filled this new collection with people who call Washington, D.C., home. Yet it is not the city's power brokers that most concern him but rather its ordinary citizens. All Aunt Hagar's Children turns an unflinching eye to the men, women, and children caught between the old ways of the South and the temptations that await them further north, people who in Jones's masterful hands, emerge as fully human and morally complex, whether they are country folk used to getting up with the chickens or people with centuries of education behind them.
In the title story, in which Jones employs the first-person rhythms of a classic detective story, a Korean War veteran investigates the death of a family friend whose sorry destiny seems inextricable from his mother's own violent Southern childhood. In "In the Blink of God's Eye" and "Tapestry" newly married couples leave behind the familiarity of rural life to pursue lives of urban promise only to be challenged and disappointed.
With the legacy of slavery just a stone's throw away and the future uncertain, Jones's cornucopia of characters will haunt readers for years to come.
"These are long and rigorously developed stories that have a craftsman quality about them....It is nostalgia full of both pain and wonder, nostalgia very much worth visiting." San Francisco Chronicle
"The fourteen stories...traverse the length of the 20th century as it was experienced in black neighborhoods in and around Washington....It's a work of the highest art." Baltimore Sun
"Each of the stories reads like a novel, jumping around in time, introducing us to myriad characters with unyielding histories." Los Angeles Times
"The writers he calls to mind are Eudora Welty and Alice Munro at their most venturesome, stretching what a story can do, yet always staying true to the spirit of place." Seattle Times
"Like William Trevor and Alice Munro, Jones compresses whole novels into these stories....In this powerful and bleak book, the dead serve one other function: They remind us our lease is not always renewed." Boston Globe
"Edward P. Jones takes his time and gets spectacular results....Since his first collection...Jones has opened up his stories. They're longer and richer, and occasional touches of magic realism creep into their typically calm and elegant accumulation of details." Oregonian
"[All Aunt Hagar's Children] brings together more than a dozen of [Jones's] stories...Individually, they show off the art of a writer with unusual talent and an often-eccentric approach to his material." Chicago Tribune
Three years after the publication of his much-heralded, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Known World
, Edward P. Jones returned with an elegiac, luminous masterpiece, All Aunt Hagar's Children
. In these fourteen sweeping and sublime stories, Jones resurrects the minor characters in his first award-winning story collection, Lost in the City
. The result is vintage Jones: powerful, magisterial tales that showcase his ability to probe the complexities and tenaciousness of the human spirit.
All Aunt Hagar's Children is filled with people who call Washington, D.C., home. Yet it is the city's ordinary citizens, not its power brokers, who most concern Jones. Here, everyday people who thought the values of the South would sustain them in the North find "that the cohesion born and nurtured in the south would be but memory in less than two generations."
The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction returns with a collection of 14 short stories.
About the Author
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. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short listed for the National Book Award. His second collection, All Aunt Hagars Children, was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a range of universities, including Princeton. He lives in Washington, D.C.