Tayari Jones is an award-winning author whose runaway bestseller, An American Marriage, features a newlywed couple and their reckoning with the horrors of mass incarceration, navigating ethically-charged questions about faithfulness and sacrifice.
The audience-led Q&A for this event will be moderated by Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.
Tayari Jones is the author of four novels: Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow, and An American Marriage.
In An American Marriage (2018), Jones introduces us to a man who has been wrongfully incarcerated and examines how he, his wife, and their families deal with the ensuing fallout. Roy and Celestial are still newlyweds when, on a visit home to Louisiana, Roy is convicted of a rape he didn’t commit and sentenced to twelve years in prison. His Morehouse brother Andre, Celestial’s childhood friend, complicates the separation. An American Marriage is a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection.
Jones’s 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. 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, Jones 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.