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Tayari Jones biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Tayari Jones
Photo: Nina Subin

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones Biography

New York Times best-selling author, Tayari Jones, is the author of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow, and An American Marriage. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo. 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 added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

Tayari Jones's website

This bio was last updated on 02/04/2018. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

This Is a Love Story, an essay by Tayari Jones in which she explains the backstory to her novel An American Marriage

All my life I have lived in a world where the men are under siege. When I was a little girl, there was a serial killer in Atlanta who killed thirty black children, most of them boys, two from my school. I was so shaken by this experience that it became the subject of my first novel. When I was in high school, it was fashionable for adults to refer to the boys of my generation as an "endangered species." There are lulls in this fear. But then, as regular as a solar eclipse, there will be a reminder. Maybe it will be personal, like riding in a car with a boyfriend and suddenly blue lights strobe from the car behind us. Sometimes it will be more symbolic than deadly, like the arrest of decorated Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates because he was thought to be burglarizing his own home. Other times, there is a shooting at the hands of police, a neighbor, or a total stranger. No matter where I am, the threat looms — either right in front of me or hiding in my peripheral vision.

In 2011 I was awarded a research fellowship at Harvard. I was a woman on a mission to make a difference. I wanted to write a novel about the tribulations of the innocent men who languish in America's prisons. I watched documentaries, read ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tayari Jones at BookBrowse
An American Marriage jacket Silver Sparrow jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Tayari Jones but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Julia Alvarez

    Julia Alvarez

    Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    An American Marriage

    Try:
    Afterlife
    by Julia Alvarez

  • Jamel Brinkley

    Jamel Brinkley

    Jamel Brinkley is the author of Witness: Stories, published in August 2023 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US)/4th Estate (UK), and A Lucky Man: Stories (2018, Graywolf Press), which was a finalist for the National Book Award... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    An American Marriage

    Try:
    A Lucky Man
    by Jamel Brinkley

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