Friday, September 21, 2007

All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories by Edward P. Jones

Every time I read a book of short stories I say to myself, “I enjoy short stories so much why don’t I read them more often?” That’s exactly what happened with this book.

All Aunt Hagar’s Children: Stories, is a exquisite collection of short stories by Edward P. Jones. I had a little trouble getting into this book at first, but after a story or two I found the rhythm of his writing. It’s not hard to see why this author has won all kinds of awards. His stories and characters are nothing short of brilliant. The setting for this collection is Washington D.C. However, the characters are ordinary citizens rather than the politicians we hear too much about.

I don’t know if I have a favourite story or character, but some of them are very memorable. I liked all of the selections here, but for different reasons. In “The Rich Man” is particularly liked Horace. He was very foolish, but I felt sorry for him in a way. In “A Poor Guatemalan Dreams of a Downtown in Peru”, I liked the character Arlene as well as the title of the story. The “Root Worker” had both a wonderful storyline and interesting characters. And finally, I loved the style in which the stories were told in “Common Law” and “Tapestry” and “Bad Neighbours”.

I haven’t read anything else by Jones, but I’ll be on the lookout for more of his work. I’ll more than likely read the first few stories again because, as I mentioned earlier, I had trouble getting into the book at first. I might even reread a few of the others that I really enjoyed. This signed copy will be treasured for many years to come.


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