At an awards ceremony hosted in Bedford Square Gardens, central London – hosted by novelist and Women’s Prize Founder Director, Kate Mosse – the 2019 Chair of Judges, Kate Williams presented the author with the £30,000 ($38,000) prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed.
Professor Kate Williams,Chair of Judges, said: “This is an exquisitely intimate portrait of a marriage shattered by racial injustice. It is a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas – that shines a light on today’s America. We all loved this brilliant book.”
The Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the biggest international celebrations of women’s creativity – is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.
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 writes regular posts at www.tayarijones.com. She lives in Brooklyn.
An American Marriage
Celestial and Roy are a newlywed couple with a bright future; the embodiment of 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 a routine, their lives are derailed 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 she’s built her life around until now. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This is a powerful story about love and family, injustice and strength. Through An American Marriage Tayari Jones proves she is not just a masterful storyteller, but also a visionary writer, unafraid to address important issues about race, class and society head-on.