- 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)
Lost in the City Paperback – 31 Dec 2004
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"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. See all Product description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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."
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