An American Marriage on National Book Award longlist

From Oprah Winfrey to President Barack Obama to the National Book Award judges, readers in the know are raving about An American Marriage. Tayari Jones’ New York Times instant bestseller is now on the National Book Award’s longlist for its fiction prize.

An American Marriage joins nine other stellar books, including Tommy Orange’s There There and Lauren Groff’s Florida, on the longlist. The short list for the National Book Award will be announced on October 10.

If you haven’t read An American Marriage already (what are you waiting for?!), here’s an excerpt to get you started.

And if you aren’t following the remarkable Tayari Jones on social media (again, why wait? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), here are just a few of the amazing things she — and her fabulous novel — have been up to lately:

•“I urge you to find and claim your voice, mission, and joy all at once. Rejoice in resistance. Seek out the satisfaction of hard work. Learn to revel in forward motion.” Tayari gave the speech at this month’s Rona Jaffe Foundation awards ceremony, and it was full of insight and wisdom and urgency. Read the full speech and be inspired.

•Six months after becoming an instant New York Times bestseller list, An American Marriage returned to the list last month.

•President Barack Obama chose An American Marriage as one of his summer reading picks. In his Facebook post, he wrote, “One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I’ve been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth . . . An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.”

•Tayari also has simply exquisite taste. In everything. From books to laundry soap. She shared a few of her favorite things with New York magazine.

•Tayari was elected to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. She will be inducted in November. And she has joined the faculty of Emory University in Atlanta, where she will begin teaching in January.

•And just in case you haven’t heard already (where have you been?), Oprah Winfrey chose An American Marriage as an Oprah’s Book Club pick:  “It is among Tayari’s many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.”


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