The Known World by Edward P. Jones
This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004. It is beautifully written, giving the reader the impression the author did extensive research, basing his novel on actual events. His fictional world becomes real as his imagination and story telling ability is truly magnificent. Set in the antebellum south, The Known World explores whites systematically owning black slaves, as well as the little known chapter in American history: freed blacks who themselves owned slaves.