**** 1/2 All Aunt Hagar's Children Stories By Edward P. Jones
Navigating the tremulous urban landscape.
This 14-story collection, set in the author's native Washington, D.C., sifts through an impressive range of African-American experiences in the 20th century. Many characters are from the rural South, now facing the complications of urban life. A man, after serving a prison sentence for murder, struggles through dinner at his brother's house. A young couple, new to the capital city, finds and takes in an abandoned child. A retired army officer is reluctant to cool his voracious appetite for ever-younger women. And in the title story, the daydreaming 24-year-old narrator catches the haunting last words of an old Yiddish woman.
Amistad. 399 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 0060557567
Denver Post **** 1/2
"Jones has a gimlet eye that bores beyond the societal to find the deeper truths in the relationships between friends, family, and community. The results are lyrical, breathtaking, and transcendent." ROBIN VIDIMOS
Oregonian **** 1/2
"Edward P. Jones takes his time and gets spectacular results.... It is as if Jones were re-creating the entire city, block by block, through time--but only the black portions of Washington." DAVID J. LOFTUS
NY Times Book Review **** 1/2
"The collection manages to stun on every page; there are too many breathtaking lines to count." DAVE EGGERS
Washington Post **** 1/2
"Now there can be no doubt about it: Edward P. Jones belongs in the first rank of American letters.... He is one of the few contemporary American writers of literary fiction who is more interested in the world around him than he is in himself, with the happy result that he has much to tell us about ourselves and how we live now." JONATHAN YARDLEY