Let’s Talk About It – The Known World by Edward P. Jones (August 4, 2022)

The first Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for August.

About the Book

From National Book Award-nominated author Edward P. Jones comes a debut novel of stunning emotional depth and unequaled literary power. Henry Townsend, a farmer, boot maker, and former slave, through the surprising twists and unforeseen turns of life in antebellum Virginia, becomes proprietor of his own plantation―as well his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart at their plantation: slaves take to escaping under the cover of night, and families who had once found love under the weight of slavery begin to betray one another. Beyond the Townsend household, the known world also unravels: low-paid white patrollers stand watch as slave “speculators” sell free black people into slavery, and rumors of slave rebellions set white families against slaves who have served them for years.

An ambitious, courageous, luminously written masterwork, The Known World seamlessly weaves the lives of the freed and the enslaved―and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery. The Known World not only marks the return of an extraordinarily gifted writer, it heralds the publication of a remarkable contribution to the canon of American classic literature. (Summary from amazon.com)

About the Speaker

Dr. Kalenda Eaton is a humanities scholar whose research interests include studies of the American west; intersections of Black literary and gender studies; Black social and cultural history; and Black Diaspora studies. Recent publications can be found in Gender and the American West, American Studies Journal, Teaching Western American Literature, and Africa Today. She is a Fulbright scholar, experienced administrator, and advocate for the public humanities. (More information from the University of Oklahoma)