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.
An American Marriage has been selected as a finalist for GoodReads’ 10th Annual GoodReads Choice Awards in the 2018 Best of Fiction Category. Voting is open until November 4th, and votes can be cast once each day until online voting closes.
For online voting and the complete list of nominees, click here.
Tayari Jones is honored to have been selected for Ebony Magazine’s 2018 EBONY Power 100 List. On the significance of this year’s honorees, Forbes writes, “[the list recognizes] and celebrate[s] the most inspiring and influential leaders of color who are impacting and shaping our world today. This year’s list includes brilliant women who are Crusaders, Disruptors, Entrepreneurs and Innovators – women who have had made a significant impact in creating movements, changing culture and bettering society.”
Among this year’s honorees are Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, First Lady Michelle Obama, and #MeTooFounder Tarana Burke. To read the list in its entirety, click here.
An American Marriage has been selected for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Longlist. A six-title shortlist (three fiction titles, three nonfiction titles,) will be announced on October 24, 2018. The two winners (fiction, nonfiction) will be announced in Seattle on Sunday, January 27, 2019.
Credit (From L to R): Erin Schaff for The New York Times, Associated Press
Tayari Jones joins TheNew York Times‘ Lauretta Charlton for a conversation on Black Sisterhood, Anita Hill, and Christine Blasey Ford in the wake of the Kavanaugh Hearings. On Black Feminism, Ms. Jones remarks: “Black women’s feminist contributions are very often erased. But at the same time, I am reminded that the influence of black women — black sisterhood — is everywhere.”
2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards Winners with guest speaker Tayari Jones at September 13th ceremony in New York City. (Front, L-R: Lisa Chen and Alison C. Rollins. Back, L-R: Lydia Conklin, Karen Outen, Tayari Jones, Gabriela Garcia, Chelsea Bieker. Photo by Star Black.)
Tayari Jones is honored to have delivered remarks at the 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards–the only national literary foundation dedicated to awarding exclusively female writers with outstanding contributions to fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.
In her remarks to this year’s recipients, Ms. Jones writes, “Alice Walker famously urged us to ‘be no one’s darling.’ I would like to expand on this and push you to be no one’s darling, not even your own.”
To read Tayari Jones’s speech in full, click here.
An American Marriage has been selected for the 2018 National Book Award Longlist for Fiction,. The longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist of five books, which will be announced Oct. 10. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 14.
For the complete 2018 National Book Awards Longlist for Fiction, click here.
An American Marriage has been chosen for President Barack Obama’s 2018 Summer Reading List. In a Facebook post, the President wrote: “One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I’ve been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth….An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.”
Tayari Jones is honored to have An American Marriage on President Obama’s 2018 Summer Reading List– see President Obama’s complete list of summer reading recommendations here.
Tayari Jones will join Emory University’s renowned Creative Writing Program this fall as a member of the English faculty in Emory College of Arts and Sciences. She will be on sabbatical for the fall semester, but will begin teaching in January 2019.