An American Marriage has been selected as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Alongside The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize is presented “as part of [The LA Times’] many community programs promoting literacy and education to benefit people across Southern California.” The winner will be announced on April 12th, 2019.
Tayari Jones has been selected for the 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize Longlist. Longlist candidates are selected from official submissions by agents, authors, publishers, and author representatives, honoring writers who have “earned a distinguished reputation and the approbation and gratitude of readers.” The official 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize Shortlist will be announced in March of 2019, with the official winner being announced in early April of 2019.
An American Marriage has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Black Caucus American Library Association Literary Award for Fiction. The Black Caucus American Library Association recognizes excellence in fiction and nonfiction by African American authors, and the fiction prize “recognizes depictions of sensitive and authentic personal experience either within the framework of contemporary literary standards and themes or which explore innovative literary formats.”
To see a complete list of winners in all categories, click here.
An American Marriage has been selected as the 2018 Book of the Year by Apple Books. In their review, Apple Books writes, “This may be the most moving love-triangle story we’ve ever read… Tayari Jones has written an unshakable novel that brilliantly combines the personal and the political. Her three main characters– and their respective families– will stay in our hearts for a long, long time.
To see the rest of Apple Books’ selections for the “Best of 2018,” click here.
An American Marriage has been selected by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post as one of the most notable works of fiction of 2018. An American Marriage sits as top selections on both lists, and in a post to her official Facebook page, Tayari Jones writes that it is “an honor to be included.”
To read The New York Times‘ “100 Notable Books of 2018” in its entirety, click here.
To read The Washington Post’s “50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018” in its entirety, click here.
An American Marriage has been selected for the 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist. Comprised of eleven novels, five short-story collections, and thirteen overall literary debuts, final-round shortlist nominees will be announced on February 20th, 2019, followed by a ceremony in New York City on April 11th, 2019 to announce the winner. In a post on her official Facebook page, Tayari Jones writes, “The Aspen Words prize celebrates fiction with a social impact. I’m honored to be in the company of so many writers of conscience. Now, more than ever, we need stories that seek to heal our ailing world.”
To see the 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist in its entirety, click here.
An American Marriage has been selected for the 2018 Favorites of Favorites LibraryReads List. Representing the books librarians loved recommending most this year, librarian Jennifer Alexander from the St. Louis County Library in St. Louis, Missouri writes, “Celestial and Roy are newly married professionals leaning into a bright future when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This is not a heroes vs. villains tale with a tidy resolution. It is a complicated, messy, moving, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reaching effects of incarceration. Book clubs get ready!”
An American Marraige has been selected by TIME Magazine as one of the best fiction books of 2018. Ranking third on their list of ten, TIME’s Lucy Feldman writes, “In Jones’ novel, Atlanta couple Celestial and Roy are married for only a year when Roy, a black businessman, is wrongfully convicted of a violent crime. In chapters that shift between the perspectives of a husband in prison, a wife losing grip of their bond and a friend stuck in the middle, Jones illuminates the waves of injustice and heartbreak that unravel families entangled in a flawed judicial system.”
In an essay for The New York Times, Tayari Jones celebrates the luminary but oft-forgotten Ann Petry, who, as a black female author in 1946, sold over 1.5 million copies of her seminal novel, The Street. In arguing for a Petry revival, and for the timelessness of The Street’s heroine, Lutie, Tayari writes, “Petry engages the issues of her day, which sadly are the issues of our day as well. At every turn, Lutie confronts that many-headed hydra of racism, sexism and classism….For Lutie there is no #MeToo movement. Ronan Farrow will not be calling her for a quote. Her experience more than fifty years ago is very similar to that of women today who are poor and of color. She must save herself, understanding that there will be devastating consequences for standing her ground.”
To read “In Praise of Ann Petry” its entirety, click here.
In an IDEAS essay for TIME Magazine, Tayari Jones discusses America’s current political moment, and the dangerous obsession behind a moral middle. On finding common ground in the wake of school shootings, family separation, and more, Tayari writes, “The middle is a point equidistant from two poles. That’s it. There is nothing inherently virtuous about being neither here nor there. Buried in this is a false equivalency of ideas, what you might call the ‘good people on both sides’ phenomenon. When we revisit our shameful past, ask yourself, Where was the middle?”
“There’s Nothing Virtuous About Finding Common Ground” appears in the November 5, 2018 print edition of TIME Magazine. To read the essay in its entirety online, click here.