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Tayari Jones

Goodreads Author


in Atlanta, Georgia, The United States



member since
May 2010

About this author

Tayari Jones is an African American author and winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Born in 1970, she was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and educated at Spelman College, the University of Iowa and Arizona State University.

She started writing seriously at Spelman College, where she studied with Pearl Cleage, who published her first story, "Eugenics", in Catalyst magazine. Jones went on to University of Iowa where she worked toward a Ph.D. in English, but she left after completing her masters degree. She also studied at The University of Georgia where she worked with Kevin Young and Judith Ortiz Cofer. She left UGA to enroll in the MFA program at Arizona State University where she worked with Ron Carlson and Jewel

All my life I have had a very keen sense of what I could not have. I think this is a natural part of childhood, the setting of boundaries. No, you cannot drink coffee! No, you cannot run outside naked! These restrictions keep us alive, but they also narrow our universe. I, for one, have found myself never asking myself what I want; instead, I think of what I believe I can get.

Here is a story.


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Published on December 29, 2014 05:54 • 56 views
Average rating: 3.74 · 9,195 ratings · 1,441 reviews · 3 distinct works · Similar authors
Silver Sparrow
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 7,329 ratings — published 2011 — 13 editions
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Leaving Atlanta
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 1,137 ratings — published 2002 — 10 editions
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The Untelling
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 729 ratings — published 2005 — 12 editions
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Pearl Cleage and Free Woman...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

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Tayari Jones rated a book 3 of 5 stars
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Goodreads Author)
bookshelves: currently-reading
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Queen of America
Tayari Jones is currently reading
by Luis Alberto Urrea (Goodreads Author)
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Tayari's Recent Updates

Tayari Jones is now friends with Janice
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
"Happy Reading

I really enjoyed reading this book. I was stunned with some of the happenings and saw others coming. I was happy the story was told by two perspectives and would definitely recommend it to others."
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
"I had not intended to read this book so quickly or to stay up until 3 AM reading it, but I was so caught up in this beautifully written, touching story that I couldn't stop. It's the kind of book that makes you want to discuss it with others right..." Read more of this review »
Tayari Jones and 5 other people liked Elizabeth's review of Silver Sparrow:
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
"This book is devastating. I never should have started it because there is only one way for a story like this to go.

And, it did.
Now I just want it out of me. Damn.

BTW: Tayari Jones, you can WRITE. Also, that epilogue is EPIC. So real and so heart..." Read more of this review »
Into the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis
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Tayari Jones rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Into the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis
Into the Go-Slow
by Bridgett M. Davis
read in July, 2014
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This is the story of Angie, a young woman from Detroit who travels to Lagos, Nigeria to unravel the mystery of her sister's death. Let me tell you that I loved this book from top to bottom, left to right.

Bridgette Davis writes about two hot-button lo
Tayari Jones rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch
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This book was really hard to read. I really respect the writing, and also the character work. The people seemed so real, that they could bleed on you. And this is both the strength and the challenge of this novel. The people came to life and they wer ...more
Tayari Jones rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson
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This is a really good book with a not-so-great-title (or cover.) I love coming of age stories and this one does not disappoint. Janie has a wonderful voice and the author is very brave with some of her point of view decisions. An infant narrating fro ...more
Tayari Jones wants to read
Insatiable by Asa Akira
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Tayari Jones added
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
The Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh (Goodreads Author)
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More of Tayari's books…
“People say, That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But they are wrong. What doesn't kill you doesn't kill you. That's all you get. Sometimes, you just have to hope that's enough.”
Tayari Jones

“And this is how it started. Just with coffee and the exchange of their long stories. Love can be incremental. Predicaments, too. Coffee can start a life just as it can start a day. This was the meeting of two people who were destined to love from before they were born, from before they made choices that would complicate their lives. This love just rolled toward my mother as though she were standing at the bottom of a steep hill. Mother had no hand in this, only heart.”
Tayari Jones, Silver Sparrow

“Abandonment doesn't have the sharp but dissipating sting of a slap. It's like a punch to the gut, bruising your skin and driving the precious air from your body.”
Tayari Jones, Silver Sparrow



Topics Mentioning This Author

376 Literary Fiction by People of Color — 2376 members — last activity 4 hours, 31 min ago
This can include genre fiction that is literary (e.g. speculative fiction, historical fiction, etc.), as long as it's written by a person of color (Af ...more

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