Born: 1970, in Atlanta Georgia
Connection to Illinois: Jones took her first tenured job at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 2004. She taught creative writing. Her parents met there in the 60's. Biography: Tayari Jones is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was named a #1 Indie Next Pick by booksellers in 2011, and the NEA added it to its Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. An Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark 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.
- An American Marriage A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK A 2018 BEST OF THE YEAR SELECTION OF NPR TIME BUSTLE O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS AMAZON.COM OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE 2019 ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE WINNER OF THE 2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK—FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION Shortlisted for the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award
- Silver Sparrow Big READ Selection, NEA 50 Best Southern Novels, Flavorwire, 2012 Lariat List, Texas Library Association, 2012 Honor Book, American Library Association Black Caucus, 2012 Nominated, NAACP Image Award, 2012 Best of the South, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2011 Best of the Year List, Mosaic Literary Magazine, 2011 Top Five Fiction Titles of the Year, Atlanta Magazine, 2011 Best of the Year List, Slate, 2011 Favorites of the Year List, Salon, 2011 Top Ten of the Year, Library Journal, 2011 #1 Choice for the Summer, TODAY Show, 2011
- Leaving Atlanta Brazos Valley Reads Selection, Texas A&M, 2013
- Other Awards and Honors Time 100 Next List, 2021
|An American Marriage
ISBN: 1616208775 OCLC: 967202434 Algonquin Books 2018 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.
ISBN: 0446690899 OCLC: 47785643 Grand Central Publishing 2003 A tale based on the Atlanta child murders of 1979 finds Tasha coping with her parents' separation in the wake of a first crush, Rodney struggling to make friends while vying for his father's approval, and Octavia facing down the in crowd at school.
ISBN: 1565129903 OCLC: 664666689 Algonquin Books 2011 A story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle. Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon's two families, the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed, and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich yet flawed characters, the father, the two mothers, the grandmother, and the uncle, she also reveals the joy, as well as the destruction, they brought to one another's lives. At the heart of it all are the two lives at stake, and like the best writers--think Toni Morrison with The Bluest Eye--Jones portrays the fragility of these young girls with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women, just not as their mothers.
ISBN: 0446532460 OCLC: 55730026 Warner Books 2005 After the loss of her father and sister fifteen years ago, twenty-five-year-old Aria attempts to reinvent herself through beginning a family of her own, only to find that she must deal with the past before she can look to the future.