2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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Huffington Post’s Black Voices rounded up 50 books the editors think every African American should read (they added on Twitter that of course the list has value to everyone, but these books focus primarily on the black experience in America). We were thrilled to see how many Anisfield-Wolf winners were on the list, proving to us once again that our winners stand out in the crowded literary field. 

Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

“Annie Allen” (1949)

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat

“Breath, Eyes, Memory” (1999)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie

“Half Of A Yellow Sun” (2008)

Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison

“Invisible Man” (1952)

Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones

“The Known World” (2003) 

Malcom X

Alex Haley

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1987)

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

“Song of Solomon” (1977), “Sula” (1973) and “The Bluest Eye” (1970)

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

“The Weary Blues” (1925)

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937)

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

“White Teeth” (2000) 

Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson

“The Warmth of Other Suns” (2010)

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley

“Devil in a Blue Dress” (1990) 

Ernest J. Gaines

Ernest J. Gaines

“A Lesson Before Dying” (1993)

2004 winner Edward P. Jones is a skilled writer. That seems to be understood quite well by all who have had the pleasure of reading one of his stories. We here at Anisfield-Wolf have said of his 2004 novel, The Known World, “Impossible to rush through, The Known World is a complex, beautifully written novel with a large cast of characters, rewarding the patient reader with unexpected connections, some reaching into the present day.” 

We’d say that’s some pretty good praise. In this interview with the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, Jones is asked how he feels about being dubbed the “Tiger Woods of American Literature” and his own writing process. Enjoy. 

Have you read The Known World? What did you think?