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Cover Image of The Lesser Evil : Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (Gifford Lectures (Princeton University Press)) by Michael Ignatieff published by Princeton University Press
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Critics Pick "The Known World"

abstract:“It is difficult to read this book without wishing we could change history; it is impossible to finish it without full awareness of how futile is that dream.”


March 06, 2004
2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction presented to Edward P. Jones for The Known World.


“Unfolding in Manchester County Virginia in the 1840s, The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a former slave who is bought out of slavery by his father, only to become proprietor of a plantation himself. …Mr. Jones has clearly done a tremendous amount of thinking about how to bring this time and place to life, but it never weighs heavily on The Known World. He narrates this potentially dangerous territory with an economical prose style that grows more resonant as it accumulates details and a rhythm.”*


In addition to the fiction award, each year the National Book Critics Circle presents awards to the finest books published in the English language (including translations) in four other categories.


General Non-Fiction

Sons of Mississippi, by Paul Hendrickson



Khrushchev: The Man and His Era,

by William Taubman









Columbarium, by Susan Stewart



River of Shadows: Eadward Muybridge,

by Rebecca Solnit








For a list of past winners, visit the NBCC website and click on “Awards”.

*source: NBCC award citation



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