All Aunt Hagar's children

by Edward P. Jones

Paper Book, 2006




New York : Amistad, c2006.


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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member SeanLong
I swear Jones used Joyce’s Dubliners as a model, but unlike Dubliners, these stories are long, rigorously developed and demanding to read. Many are confusing by the way they move about in time and frame of reference, and at one point I damn near quit reading, but as the stories started to slowly
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come together I could tell this was evolving into something special. It’s rare that I relish the intricacies of a book that require such close attention, but these are so tightly wound and come together so smoothly that it’s the best book in the short story genre I’ve read so far this year.
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LibraryThing member haidadareads
I purchased this book at a United Way Bookfair [Feb '07 Black History Month]. I had not read any of Edward P. Jones work and decided that this book had to be a great read because the author was a Pulitzer Prize Winner. Subsequently, I was not all disappointed. This collection of short stories is
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very real and heart touching. I think it gives readers an inside look at working class black folks with hopes, dreams, and struggles...just like any other American. My favorite story was "Bad Neighbors". We all can relate to neighbors who are deemed no class or others who simply think they're too good for the community, but cannot afford to move elsewhere. Classic stereotypes are addressed and real feelings of the characters, emerge from the pages. It's a book I'd read again and again. I also purchased the known world after reading this.
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LibraryThing member Eye_Gee
I generally much prefer novels to short stories but I enjoyed this collection. Set in Washington DC, it examines the lives of African Americans who are transplants from another time and place. All grew up in rural, southern communities and most still have family there. What I found interesting was
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the way the culture and social mores of the country adapted to the lives of those living in the city.
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