Tayari Jones has been awarded a 2012 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is among 40 American writers selected for this distinction. Ms. Jones will use the $25,000 unrestricted grant to research her fourth novel. Read the NEA press release and browse the list of fellows.
Silver Sparrow has been selected by the National Women’s Book Association as a 2011 Great Group Read. Each year, twenty titles are chosen to mark National Reading group Month. To mark the occaision, Tayari Jones will participate in the National Reading Group Month Signature Event to be held in Nashville at the Nashville Public Library Downtown on Saturday, October 15. She will also take part in the Booklist Webinar on October 7.
The full list of 2011 Great Group Reads is here.
I am delighted to post the link to my recent NPR interview. It was such a pleasure to sit down with Michele Norris, who is just as amazing in person as she is on the air. We talked about bigamy, Girls Write Now, Toni Morrison, “invisible” girls, Spelman College, magic wands, Johnetta Cole, writing, mentoring, and SILVER SPARROW.
Tayari Jones will spend the 2011-12 year at Harvard University as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the academic year 2011-12. Chosen from over 800 applications, she will join a select group of fifty fellows. Each has a record of significant accomplishment and demonstrated interest in participating in the multi-disciplinary environment of the Radcliffe Fellowship Program. Next year’s fellows come from across the country and around the world, women and men at different stages of their careers, representing different academic, professional and artistic fields.
While at Radcliffe, she will work on a new novel.
The American Booksellers Association has chosen Silver Sparrow as the #1 Indie Next Pick for the month of June. According to the ABA website, “The Indie Next List, drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells, epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem.”
In her endorsement of Silver Sparrow, Libby Cowles of Maria’s Bookshop writes: “The unconventional, morally troubling relationships at the core of Jones’ Silver Sparrow illustrate the universality of the human quest for acknowledgment, legitimacy, love, and loyalty. As Chaurisse and her secret half-sister, Dana, move toward adulthood, they must shed idealistic notions of romantic and familial love to face difficult truths. A complex family drama, a richly crafted coming-of-age story, and a meditation on the nature of love and forgiveness, this is a gripping story with characters you will not soon forget.”
Tayari Jones, Associate Professor, was honored by Rutgers University today in a ceremony on the New Brunswick campus. She received the Board of Trustees Award for Scholarly Excellence, the Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, a Leader in Faculty Diversity Award. The awards are accompanyed by research grants which will assist Jones in the completion of her next novel.
I am so happy to tell you that my third novel,
THE SILVER GIRL SILVER SPARROW, has been accepted for publication by Algonquin Books! I cannot express how thrilled I am. No word yet on pub date, as I am still working on revisions with my new editor, Andra Miller.
If I am going to take a bow for this acheivement, I have to bring my wonderful agent, Jane Dystel, to the stage. Jane really believes in her clients. She found a home for my odd first novel, Leaving Atlanta, and has stuck by me ever since. So many of my friends’ agents don’t call them back, or blow them off between projects. Jane has hundreds of clients, but treats us all with care and respect. Her co-agent, Miriam Goderich, has a degress in Comp Lit. She really gets deep in the manuscript with my and helps me ready it for submission. (She’s also good for the occaisional word of personal advice: Dump that guy, for example.)
And of course, I would like to thank all of you all for being so helpful to me as I struggled through this process. I tried to keep my head up, but sometimes I was downright discouraged and more than once I worried that the novel would die on the vine. Thanks for your encouragement and your own reports of success and even your honest reports of your own frustrations.
We’ve got a community here and I am very grateful for it.
I’m headed to Recife, Brazil today to give a series of readings and lectures. Since most of my events are at universities, I expect to have access to internet, so I can hopefully update the blog. (I miss y’all!) Meanwhile, in case anyone reading this is in Brazil and isn’t too busy celebrating the Olympic decision, here is my schedule:
Monday, October 5. “The Writer and Her Teachers and Her Students: Reflections on Pedagogy.” Catholic University. 7:30 pm
Tuesday, October 6. “Remembering The Atlanta Child Murders: Literature as Advocacy.” Federal University of Parnambuco. 9:00 am.
Tuesday, October 6. “The Role of the African American Writer”, Pernambuco Book Festival. 3:00 pm
Wednesday, October 7. “Remembering The Atlanta Child Murders: Literature as Advocacy.” Joaquim Nabuco Foundation. 9:00 am
Wednesday, October 7. “The Role of the African American Writer”, Cultura Book Store, 7:30 pm.
Thursday, October 8. “Literature, Advocacy, and Pedagogy.” Catholic University, 9:00 am.
Thursday, October 8. “Remembering The Atlanta Child Murders: Literature as Advocacy.” Binational Center Brazil American Association, 7:00 pm.