An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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Tayari Jones is an American novelist and professor, born in 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.A.). She is the author of An American Marriage, a novel published in February 2018. Learn more about the author, her book, as well as ratings and reviews on the latter.

Tayari Jones is the winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo.

Tayari was educated at Spelman College, where she started writing seriously, at the University of Iowa, where she completed a master’s degree, then at the University of Georgia, and eventually at Arizona State University, where she enrolled in the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program and worked.

As a professor of creative writing, she has taught at The University of Illinois and at George Washington University. In addition, she served as the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington.

A member of the MFA faculty at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University, she is spending the 2017-18 academic year as the Shearing Fellow for Distinguished Writers at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Tayari has also been a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship.

Tayari Jones is the author of the following books:

  • Leaving Atlanta (2002)
  • The Untelling (2005)
  • Silver Sparrow (2011)
  • An American Marriage (2018).

Let’s take a closer look at her latest book, An American Marriage, released in February 2018, which was Oprah’s Book Club 2018 Selection.




“Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today

“A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People

“Compelling.” —The Washington Post

“Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future.

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One comment

  1. This story will take your breath away. You’ll experience a large range of emotions and feel the power of hope and redemption. I truly loved the characters! This book is worth the read, so I gave it a 5 stars. Often sad, but always real. I really appreciated the way it’s written. Don’t miss this book!

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