ONLINE CLASS: Edward P. Jones, a DC Writer (2180)

Four Saturdays: August 7, 14, 21, and 28, from noon to 2 p.m. ET

$120 (10% off for members)

For Edward P. Jones, place reigns supreme in his fiction and particularly segregated Washington, DC where he grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. His sense of place in his fiction has earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004, and the PEN/Malamud Award in 2010. While his short stories explore the lives of African Americans in Washington, DC, his novel The Known World is set in Virginia and explores the dynamics of slave ownership by both white and Black Americans. The complexity of Jones’s works attests to unexplored themes around what freedom means and how characters negotiate their known worlds.

We will orient ourselves with Jones’s fiction by starting with his collection of short stories Lost in the City, which has been dubbed an homage to James Joyce. The 14 stories that comprise this collection focus on the lives of African-American men and women in Washington, DC existing among obstacles that inner-city life can present while also celebrating threads of resiliency. Next, we will delve into a little-known fact about free Blacks enslaving other Blacks in nineteenth-century Virginia in Jones’s novel The Known World. In this novel, we will grabble with issues about morality, world view, and expediency and how they create complicated choices for the novel’s characters. We will end the class reading All Aunt Hagar’s Children, which returns to Washington, DC where Jones’s resurrects some of the characters from Lost in the City and examines how southern values inform and sustain characters who have moved further north and encounter a different value system. Four Saturdays: August 7, 14, 21, and 28, from noon to 2 p.m. ET

Required Texts:

Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones 9780062193216

The Known World by Edward P. Jones 9780060557553

All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones 9780060557577

Michele L. Simms-Burton, PhD is a former tenured university professor and founding board member of the Toni Morrison Society. Her writings have appeared in The Crisis Magazine, DownBeat, D.C. Metro Theater Arts, Auburn Avenue, and San Francisco Chronicle. She has lectured globally on African American culture.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: 9787000009202
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Lost in the City - 20th anniversary edition: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062193216
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Amistad - October 16th, 2012

The Known World: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060557553
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Amistad - May 25th, 2004

All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060557577
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Amistad - August 28th, 2007