Pulitzer Prize Winner to Read, Speak on Campus

The free public reading will be at 7:30 p.m. in Carroll Hall auditorium, off Cameron Avenue near South Columbia Street. Jones will take questions from audience after his reading.

Jones also will participate in a free panel discussion, “Talismans: Folklore and African-American Letters,” at 3:30 p.m. March 22 in the Donovan Lounge of Greenlaw Hall, off South Road near the Student Stores. Donovan is on the second floor.

The panel also will feature Randall Kenan and Rebecka Rutledge-Fisher, faculty members in UNC’s English and comparative literature department, and Bill Ferris, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South.

Jones is the 2010 Morgan Writer-in-Residence at Carolina. His visit is sponsored by the Morgan Program and the English and comparative literature department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The Known World” (2003), set in antebellum Virginia, also brought Jones an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize, administered by the Dublin City Libraries in Ireland. The novel tells a story about fictional free black people who owned slaves, but such little-known situations really did exist, Jones says.

Jones had worked for years as an editor and columnist at the magazine Tax Notes while mapping out the novel in his head before writing a word of it. After being laid off in 2001, he wrote the book in a three-month-long rush.

Upon the 2006 publication of Jones’ third book, “All Aunt Hagar’s Children,” Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post wrote: “Now there can be no doubt about it: Edward P. Jones belongs in the first rank of American letters.” The collection of short stories chronicles life in the Washington, D.C., black community where Jones grew up and now resides.

Jones also is the author of a short story collection, “Lost in the City” (1992).

Kenan, associate professor in UNC’s creative writing program, calls Jones “a literary Dr. Who.”

“He bends time, he warps time, he folds time, he braids time. And he gives us characters of such depth and mystery and humanity; he is like a new Chekhov,” Kenan said.

Carolina alumni Allen and Musette Morgan of Memphis, Tenn., established the Morgan Writer-in-Residence Program in 1993 to bring writers of distinction to UNC.

Photo: http://uncnews.unc.edu/images/stories/news/humanities/2010/jones%20edward%20bw%20ap2.jpg

Morgan Writer contact: Susan H. Irons, (919) 962-4283, susan_irons@unc.edu

College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu