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Lost in the City Paperback – 31 Dec 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 31 Dec 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad Press (31 Dec. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006079528X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060795283
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,996,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Original and arresting..[Jones's] stories will touch chords of empathy and recognition in all readers." -- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"Poignant.Gripping.[Jones] has a careful ear for dialogue." -- Washington Times

"A powerful fiction debut." -- New York Times

"[A] powerful.generous.collection." -- USA Today

A powerful fiction debut. --New York Times

Original and arresting .[Jones s] stories will touch chords of empathy and recognition in all readers. --Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

[A] powerful generous collection. --USA Today

Poignant Gripping [Jones] has a careful ear for dialogue. --Washington Times

Although these experiences will be unfamiliar to many readers, Jones instills humanity in his characters and stories. --Library Journal

Jones writes knowingly....His insightful portraits...make this a poignant and promising first effort. --Publishers Weekly

Edward P. Jones has a commanding voice. His collection of stories is arresting. --Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale

"Jones writes knowingly....His insightful portraits...make this a poignant and promising first effort."--Publishers Weekly

"A powerful fiction debut."--New York Times

"Original and arresting....[Jones's] stories will touch chords of empathy and recognition in all readers."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"[A] powerful...generous...collection."--USA Today

"Poignant...Gripping...[Jones] has a careful ear for dialogue."--Washington Times

"Although these experiences will be unfamiliar to many readers, Jones instills humanity in his characters and stories."--Library Journal

"Edward P. Jones has a commanding voice. His collection of stories is arresting."--Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale

"Jones writes knowingly. . . . His insightful portraits . . . make this a poignant and promising first effort."--Publishers Weekly

"Original and arresting. . . . [Jones's] stories will touch chords of empathy and recognition in all readers."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"Poignant. . . . Gripping. . . . [Jones] has a careful ear for dialogue."--Washington Times

From the Back Cover

The nation's capital that serves as the setting for the stories in Edward P. Jones's prizewinning collection, Lost in the City, lies far from the city of historic monuments and national politicians. Jones takes the reader beyond that world into the complicated lives of African American men, women, and even children, such as the girl set to begin elementary school in "The First Day," who work against the constant threat of loss to maintain a sense of hope. From "The Girl Who Raised Pigeons" to the well-to-do career woman awakened in the night by a phone call that will take her on a journey back to the past, the characters in these stories forge bonds of community as they struggle against the limits of their city to stave off the loss of family, friends, memories, and, ultimately, themselves.

Critically acclaimed upon publication, Lost in the City introduced Jones as an undeniable talent, a writer whose unaffected style is not only evocative and forceful but also filled with insight and poignancy.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
just really good condition.thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 59 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost In The City, wonderful stories of love and deception, heartache and hope. 7 Jan. 2015
By Chili Marie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After experiencing a traumatic event in 2005, I was unable to concentrate for about a year. "The Known World" was the first book that sustained my attention and interest after this period. I became an instant fan of Edward P. Jones and his masterful skill at crafting plausible characters and a non- linear intricate yet believable plot. "Lost In The City" is my second encounter with Mr. Jones as a magical story teller. He is like a good friend who sits across the kitchen table from you and tells you stories of people he encountered during the day. None of the protagonist are heroes or emblems of virtue or high morals. Yet the are very human. You begin to have insight you never knew you had until you read these stories. I am as enthralled as Sharyar, the Persian king was with the tales of Sheherazade in "The Arabian Nights." I am hushed by his god-like knowledge of the secrets and emotions that all humans carry in their pscyche. I liken his characters to meaningless strangers one might encounter at a bus stop while driving by. They are the nameless, under achievers, unlucky, heartless,and the lucky city dwellers whose paths may cross yours. Caesar, in the "Young Lions is a born predator, whose chilling inner rottenness came out of no where. I really enjoyed,"The Store." I knew these everyday uncomplicated characters like neighbors I might have encountered as a child. The wisdom of Penny and the quietly developing ambition, maturity,and honor of the store helper, the protagonist, progressed like one expects life to ebb and flow. Joyce in "His Mother's House" was an insightful work. I could almost understand how a mother of a drug dealer rationalized her son's worth and value in her narrow world. As I read these stories slowly, putting each to bed at night, I could hardly contain myself in the morning when I awakened to see what delights Mr. Jones had waiting for me in the next story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the City 20th Anniversary Edition 1 April 2013
By Carole Kennon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book of short stories about African American communiites in Washington, DC is emotionally evocative and beautifully written. For several years I have used copies as an achievement award in an adult education course I teach. Many of my students grew up in Northeast and Southeast DC, as did the author, Edward P. Jones. The new introduction by Mr. Jones to the 20th Anniversary Edition is excellent in its explanation of how these stories came to be written by him. Finally, if you don't take my word for it, go to the January 10, 2013, edition of The Washington Post in which Jonathon Yardley includes Lost in the City among his "favorite three books" in a nineteen-book list put together by a number of people as well written and basic to understanding and appreciating our Nation's Capital.

Carole Kennon-Eaton
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lost" in the City 16 Oct. 2008
By Stephen Balbach - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
_Lost in the City_ (1992) - a collection of short stories - is Edward P. Jones' first book, followed by the Pulitzer Price winning novel The Known World (2003), and All Aunt Hagar's Children (2006), a second collection of short stories. Both Lost and Aunt Hagar are about blacks in Washington, DC where Jones grew up in the neighborhoods he writes about. His stories are like mini novels with lush detail, multiple fully evolved characters and densely colloquial prose.

The stories have a common theme surrounding an old colloquial saying "Don't get lost in the city". The word "lost" means having no direction, aimless, with no intention, and the stories are about people in that sort of state of mind, simply doing time with no direction home. It also means alienation, being lost is the opposite of family and compassion, the stories involve broken and dysfunctional families, coldness. Charles Dickens wrote about London and the poor of the 19th century, but his stories were the opposite of Jones. Instead of that "coming home to family" Christmas time spirit of Dickens, Jones invokes coldness, alienation, purposelessness. I hesitate to call Jones "anthropological" because it is also very aesthetically pleasing, but like Balzac did for Paris in the early 19th century and Dickens for London, Jones invokes the spirit of a time and place that, while not full of good feelings and happy endings, does speak truthfully. The last story of the book, "Marie", ends with an old woman listening to an audio oral-history and I think Jones is telling the reader how he sees his own work, a history of a people and place.

My favorite story is in the middle of the book, "The Store", it is the most uplifting and optimistic surrounded by stories of tragedy and sadness. It is about a poor boy done good by hard work and honesty. Other stories I thought were excellent include "The Sunday Following Mother's Day" about a husband who kills his wife for no reason, and the resulting years of failed relationships with his son and daughter. It's epic scope crosses generations of multiple people, but it is also grassroots, concerning people who are invisible to society. "His Mother's House" is about a street drug dealer and his relations with his family, it helped me better understand how families (mothers, fathers, sons) and the drug culture can intermingle ."A New Man" is a heartbreaking story of a 15 year-old girl who runs away from home and is never heard from again. Overall I think the stories in _Aunt Hagar_ are better - more fully realized, longer - however these are still excellent, Jones is one of my favorite authors.

Truman Capote in his masterpiece In Cold Blood (1960) has the following quote (an actual quote from a sister to her brother who is in jail) which I think sums up Jones' stories:

"Your confinement is nothing to be proud of.. You are a human being with a free will. Which puts you above the animal level. But if you live your life without feeling and compassion for your fellowman - you are as an animal - "an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth" & happiness & peace of mind is not attained by living thus."
5.0 out of 5 stars Observations of Lost in the City 15 Nov. 2012
By SAMUEL M. MILLIGAN - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the anthology Lost in the City to be very moving and insightful. Mr. Jones gave us a look at life in the capital of our nation that is seldom seen and heard even less. He displays the ability to make a mountain out of a molehill, i.e. to make seemingly minor aspects of one's life monumental in scope.

Plus, he casts illumination on some of the darker portions of the social ills of the black community: jealously, rage, love, respect, arrogrance and mental instability.

The endings of most of the stories are quite unconventional. To me, an aspiring writer, those ending are inspirational for way too many short stories have happy or comical endings.

All things considered, I feel that Mr. Jones has his finger on the pulse of the city and that he describes each heartbeat in a depth of brillance.

Samuel M. Milligan
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to get "Lost in the City" 20 Nov. 2014
By Rvwgirl - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent collection of short stories / vignettes. The stories are compelling and diverse. It was interesting meeting the various characters and reading their stories. The author's writings shed led on the struggles of ordinary men and women who in their own ways sometimes may be lost / swallowed up by their surroundings while still capturing the rays of light/hope that sometimes glimmer there. It is easy for the reader as well as the characters to sense how easy it is to get Lost in the City (where few outside your enclave know your name).
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