Book Details

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An American Marriage

A Novel

About the Book

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, 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. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy's time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Jones writes with such companionable intelligence.” —Wall Street Journal

“A tense and timely love story. Told in letters and from alternating perspectives, packed with brave questions about race and class, An American Marriage is the perfect book-club book—one the whole group will finish and discuss with conviction.” —People

“Breathtaking. . . . Through her indelible characters, Jones masterfully probes denial and the ways it slowly seeps into the cracks and crevices of a shaky marriage until at last, it fully embodies it.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Readers of An American Marriage will discover a bold, big Southern story to match its ambitious title.” —BookPage

“Exquisite. . . . Jones’ writing is honey-rich, every word encapsulating the taste of the South.” —Bustle

“Tayari Jones has emerged as one of the most important voices of her generation.” —Essence

“Epic . . . transcendent, triumphant . . . Jones . . . is a genius at tackling big-picture subjects such as love, identity, race, loyalty, and injustice. Jones’s deft story pacing and breathtaking language make An American Marriage one of 2018’s best novels.” —Elle

“The radiantly talented Tayari Jones has written a deeply beautiful and painful novel that examines the crush of false imprisonment through An American Marriage.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Jonses’ fourth and best novel. . . . Celestial is Jones’ finest creation to date. . . . True to its title, An American Marriage speaks universal truths, even as its author and characters never forget who they are and where they’re from.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Powerful. . . . In our greatest tragedies, there is the feeling of no escape—and when the storytelling is just right, we feel consumed by the heartbreak.” —The Millions

“Tayari Jones lets us know she is a master of writing with this enchanting novel. This book is what literary fiction should aspire to be: timely, elegant, and powerful. Jones’ masterful prose and gripping characters makes An American Marriage an instant classic.” —Book Riot

“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

“Nuanced and evocative. . . . An American Marriage is 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

“Breathtaking. . . . Jones is a master with words and An American Marriage is the wordsmith at the top of her game.” —Bitch Media

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.” —The Rumpus.com

“Novelist Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.” —Esquire

“Heart-wrenching. . . . An American Marriage poses profound questions about what we owe each other, and what injustices we allow to persist.” —Huffington Post

“Tayari Jones weaves a moving love story in her new novel, An American Marriage.” —SouthernLiving.com

“Jones (Silver Sparrow) lays bare the devastating effects of wrongful imprisonment in this piercing tale of an unspooling marriage. . . . 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

“Layered like Pearl Cleage’s What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, this title will appeal to all readers of contemporary fiction.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“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

“Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful . . . This is, at its heart, a love story, but a love story warped by racial injustice. And, in it, Jones suggests that racial injustice haunts the African-American story.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443456951
  • ISBN 10: 1443456950
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 02/06/2018
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Family Life
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC3: FICTION / African American / General

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