Books: On Top of the World

Edward Jones grew up poor and worked a dead-end job for 19 years. Now he has won a Pulitzer Prize

When Edward Jones was 10, he used to go to the public library in Washington, but not for the books. "We would go into the boys' room," he remembers. "We would take off our shoes and lay on the floor and put our feet up on the radiators to get warm." Jones is again sitting in the lobby of that building, but the library is now the City Museum of Washington, and Jones is 53 and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his first novel, The Known World (Amistad; 388 pages). Time does have a way of changing everything.

Everything--and...

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