Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction



Illinois Connection

Thompson-Spires lives in Champaign. She is an Assistant Professor of English, African American Studies, and Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Nafissa Thompson-Spires grew up in Rialto, California. She earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, East Bay Review, Compose, Blinders, FLOW, The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She was a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Heads of the Colored People"""

-- *Longlisted, National Book Award for Fiction, 2018

-- *Longlisted, Aspen Words Literary Prize, 2018

-- *Finalist, Kirkus Prize, 2018

-- *PEN Open Book Award

-- *Whiting Award

-- *Nominated, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

-- *Art Sidenbaum Award for First Fiction, The LA Times

-- *The Hurston/Wright Award for Fiction

-- ‚Äč*The Audie Award for Best Short Stories

-- *Finalist, Kirkus Prize

-- *Best Books List, Refinery29, 2018

-- *Best Books List, NPR, 2018

-- *Best Books List, The Root, 2018

-- *Best Books List, HuffPost, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Vanity Fair, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Bustle, 2018

-- *Best Books List, Chicago Tribune, 2018

-- *Best Books List, PopSugar, 2018

-- *Best Books List, The Undefeated, 2018