Pulitzer-Winning Author Edward P. Jones ’72 Inducted Into the American Academy of Arts and Letters

This is the highest recognition of artistic merit in the United States
March 8th, 2019 by 

Edward P. Jones ’72 is seen here outside Rehm Library on campus, where Jones returned in 2004 to give a reading and meet with students. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt
Edward P. Jones ’72 is seen here outside Rehm Library on campus, where Jones returned in 2004 to give a reading and meet with students. Photo by Dan Vaillancourt

Acclaimed author and Holy Cross alumnus Edward P. Jones ’72 has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest recognition of artistic merit in the United States. Jones ’72 is one of 11 individuals from the arts, literature and music fields who will be inducted as members of the 250-person academy at its annual award ceremony in mid-May.

With his induction, Jones ’72 becomes the second Holy Cross alumnus to be a member of the academy, following former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins ‘63, who was elected in 2016.

Edward P. Jones ’72, the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection “Lost in the City,” won a Pulitzer for his novel “The Known World” in 2004. Based on historical facts, “The Known World” tells the story of a former slave in antebellum Virginia who, upon gaining his freedom, purchases slaves to work for him. Jones’ first novel, the book also earned a National Book Critics Circle fiction prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Founded in 1898, the Academy of Arts and Letters was created as an honor society of the country’s leading writers, artists, composers and architects. Its members are elected for life, with new members elected as vacancies occur. Among the writers elected to membership since its founding were Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Pearl S. Buck, John Updike and Willa Cather.

An English major while at Holy Cross, Jones teaches fiction writing at George Washington University and lives in Washington, D.C.

Read more about the announcement on the Associated Press website.

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