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An American Marriage
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Description for An American Marriage
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION, 2019 'A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.' - Barack Obama Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. ... Read more Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together. A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control. Show Less
About Tayari Jones
Place of Publication
London, United Kingdom
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Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. She serves on the MFA faculty at Rutgers and blogs on writing at www.tayarijones.com/blog. She lives in Brooklyn.
Reviews for An American Marriage
`A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.'
`It's among Tayari's many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.'
`It is a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas ... Read morethat shines a light on today's America... The prose is luminous, striking and utterly moving.'
Prof. Kate Williams, Chair of Judges, The Women's Prize for Fiction
`The end of this beautiful novel made me cry. Jones writes with intelligence and a lively wit, but there's more - a warmth that forces you to care about these people as if you had met them.'
`A marvellous feat of storytelling.'
`Another incredible love story, though fraught with greater challenges for the couple at the centre, which makes the story all the more moving. Jones's prose is chock-full of lyricism, grace and wisdom. You will never forget the story of Celestial and Roy.'
`Jones is very good with character, catching the whole texture of a life in a phrase or two...a vivid picture of how precarious respectable happiness still is for America's new black middle class.'
`A blend of thoughtful drama and social issues.'
`A smart, sharp and very moving look at race and relationships in America.'
i, Best Summer Beach Reads, 2019
`A nuanced dissection of love, race, class, family and gender...the sharp simplicity of Jones' writing unleashes her characters' vulnerabilities, and facilitates a remarkably intimate portrait of a corrupt justice system, and the irreversible effects of wrongful conviction.'
`Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.'
`A powerful, intense tale of injustice, imprisonment and disrupted lives.'
`If you haven't read it yet, now is the time.'
Sunday Times Style
'[A] searing, gut-wrenching, page-turning read.'
The New York Times Book Review
`Nuanced and evocative... A compelling exploration of the thorny conflicts that drive us apart and bind us, the distorting weight of racism, and how commitment looks across time - and generations.'
`Powerful...The story...is both sweeping and intimate- at once an unsparing exploration of what it means to be black in America and a remarkably lifelike portrait of a marriage.'
The New Yorker
`Quietly powerful...[Jones's] writing illuminates the bits and pieces of a marriage: those almost imperceptible moments that make it, break it, and forcefully tear it apart.'
`Compelling...spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions. She never ignores their flaws, their perfectly human tendency toward self-justification, but she also captures their longing to be kind, to be just, to somehow behave well despite the contradictory desires of the heart.'
`A poignant reflection on the tightly interwoven issues of marriage, race, class, and criminal justice.'
`A tense and timely love story... An American Marriage is the perfect book-club book - one the whole group will finish and discuss with conviction.'
People Magazine, Book of the Week
`Jones has crafted a complex, layered story that's both intimate and broad, a literary page-turner that's impossible to put down.'
The Los Angeles Times
`Loyalty, duty, family, secrets and anger are gently, yet powerfully woven through every page...the reader is given a sense of intimacy that is a rare gift from an author.'
Naga Munchetty, 2016 judge of the Women's Prize for Fiction
`This moment, right here in February 2018, feels like exactly the right time for Tayari Jones to be writing - and for us to be reading Tayari Jones. In the years since her debut, she has been getting better, and . . . added heft and substance to the rich and necessary stories she weaves.'
`Brilliant, timely... With spare and shimmering prose... Jones captures the life-altering losses Roy and Celestial endure in this unforgettable American marriage.'
`It's always an event when there's new writing from Tayari Jones...'
`Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear. That has been true from her very first book, but with An American Marriage that vision, that strength, and that truth-telling voice have found a new level of artistry and power.'
Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
`Heart-wrenching... An American Marriage poses profound questions about what we owe each other, and what injustices we allow to persist.'
`I love An American Marriage and I'm so excited for this book to be in the world. Tayari's novel is timely, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Reading it, I found myself angry as hell, laughing out loud, choking up and cheering. A gem of a book.'
Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming
`A heart-breaking and genuinely suspenseful love story... Tayari Jones has written a complex and important novel about people trapped in a tragic situation, struggling to reconcile their responsibilities and desires.'
Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children
`Tayari Jones is a great storyteller. An American Marriage holds the reader from first page to last.'
Amy Bloom, author of Lucky Us
`Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful.'
Kirkus (starred review)
`A stunning epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns... Skilfully crafted and beautifully written, An American Marriage is an exquisite, timely, and powerful novel that feels both urgent and indispensable.'
Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory
`An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward-with hope and pain-into the future.'
`Tayari Jones provides an essential contemporary portrait of a marriage in this searing novel. An American Marriage gorgeously evokes the New South as it explores mass incarceration on a personal level.'
`Jones crafts an affecting tale that explores marriage, family, regret, and other feelings made all the more resonant by her well-drawn characters and their intricate conflicts of heart and mind.'
`Masterfully executed... Jones uses her love triangle to explore simmering class tensions and reverberating racial injustice in the contemporary South, while also delivering a satisfying romantic drama.'
`Enchanting... There are rarely novels as timely or fitting as An American Marriage... The story is gripping, and the characters are unforgettable.'
Foreword Reviews (starred review)
`[A] very insightful, touching story about contemporary relationships.'
`A magnificent, painful story of love and justice.'
Sainsbury's Magazine Book Club Choice
`When a book comes recommended by both Barack Obama and Oprah, you can be sure it's going to make waves. And...rightfully so as this is a stunning novel that examines themes of racism, the American (in)justice system and commitment set around a young African American couple.'
Victoria's Book Reviews