Edward P. Jones and Short Stories

[By Kenton Rambsy]

Over the past week, I have focused on novelist in the “100Novels Collection” to highlight how, often times, novels take precedence over collections of short stories in shaping the legacy of writers.
Similar to Toni Cade Bambara, Edward P. Jones is known primarily as a short story writer and has even expressed a preference for the short story form. Ironically enough, though, he won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his sole novel, The Known World. This occurrence leads me to wonder why novels are favored more than short stories? Moreover, I wonder do publishers produce disincentives for writers who favor short stories over novels? Exploring these questions may shed light into the political world of publishing companies and to what ends do they promote novels over collections of short stories.
Below, view a list of short stories by Edward P. Jones.

Lost in the City (1992)
The Girl Who Raised Pigeons
The First Day
The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed
Young Lions
The Store
An Orange Line Train to Ballston
The Sunday Following Mother’s Day
Lost in the City
His Mother’s House
A Butterfly on F Street
A New Man
A Dark Night
All Aunt Hagar’s Children (2006)
In the Blink of God’s Eye
Spanish in the Morning
Resurrecting Methuselah
Old Boys, Old Girls
All Aunt Hagar’s Children
A Poor Guatemalan Dreams of a Downtown in Peru
Root Worker
Common Law
Adam Robinson Acquires Grandparents and a Little Sister
The Devil Swims Across the Anacostia River
A Rich Man
Bad Neighbors

One thought on “Edward P. Jones and Short Stories

  1. The Known World through out the book had many flashbacks. In my opinion it made it very confusing to try to read. For example, it would talk about Henry Townsend's funeral in one paragraph, and a paragraph later it would be talking about the past. This is not a type of book I personally enjoy reading. For some positive remarks, the book had some historical events, which made it quite interesting. It talked about how black people could own black slaves as their own property, and how black slaves really weren't treated well. The Known World really did have a good message, but I just wished the author had told the story in sequential order. It would have made it a lot easier to follow, more enjoyable, and would have made more sense.

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