Lost in the City: An Exploration of Edward P. Jones's Short Fiction

Introduction: A Literary Analysis of All Aunt Hagar's Children

Edward P. Jones published his second short story collection, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, in 2006. Like Lost in the City, only two of the 14 stories feature a first-person narrative. Using a primarily third-person perspective, Jones tells story after story of African Americans from the early 1900’s to the 1980’s who have carried their southern lineage northward to reshape the culture of the nation’s capital.

The fourteen stories in the collection span from approximately 1901 (“In the Blink of God’s Eye”) to the early 2000s (“Old Boys, Old Girls”), with most occurring in the 1950s and 60s. This information aids our understanding of the contexts in which the characters operate, but while Jones is skilled at using time to his advantage, concrete dates are often not the intended focus.

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