by Edward P. Jones
“The Known World” is a fiction novel that tells the story of a black African farmer, Henry Townsend. The author of this popular novel is Edward P. Jones. Jones writes numerous novel and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, for fiction. Jones also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a range of universities, including Princeton. In “The Known World”, Jones describes a story of a black farmer, Henry Townsend. A farmer slave who garners his freedom and becomes the owner of his own southern anti-Bellum plantation and, curiously, master to a number of his own slaves.
Around 1860, 28% of free blacks owned slaves as compared to 4.8% of southern whites so this is a very appropriate subject. Only the 1806 Act passed in Virginia that is referenced is historically correct. In addition, “The Known World” is a blockbusting novel to learn what that means, what is knowledge, what or who generates it, can it be trusted and how does it impact individual slaves. To sum it up, The Known World is a best-selling novel.