An American Marriage
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LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION, 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
‘A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.’ – Barack Obama
A Book of the Year according the i, Guardian, Sunday Times, Sunday Mail
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.
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.
`Haunting...beautifully written.' * The New York Times Book Review * `Epic...transcendent...triumphant.' * Elle * `It's among Tayari's many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.' * Oprah Winfrey * `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.' * Washington Post * `Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.' * Esquire * `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.' * BBC.com * `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.' * Huffington Post * `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.' * TheRumpus * `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.' * Entertainment Weekly * `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.' * Booklist * `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.' * Publishers Weekly * `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.' * Book Riot *
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