An American Marriage


3.95 (320,786 ratings by Goodreads)
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'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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 292g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781786075192
  • 12,624

Review Text

'A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.'

Barack Obama
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Review quote

'A marvellous feat of storytelling.' * Guardian * 'If you haven't read it yet, now is the time.' * Sunday Times Style * 'Haunting...beautifully written.' * New York Times Book Review * 'Another incredible love story, though fraught with greater challenges for the couple at the centre, which makes the story all the more moving. Jones's prose is chock-full of lyricism, grace and wisdom. You will never forget the story of Celestial and Roy.' * Observer * 'Epic...transcendent...triumphant.' * Elle * 'The end of this beautiful novel made me cry. Jones writes with intelligence and a lively wit, but there's more - a warmth that forces you to care about these people as if you had met them.' * Times * 'Jones sheds a haunting light on the all-encompassing nature of racial injustice.' * Daily Mail, Best Summer Reads * 'Loyalty, duty, family, secrets and anger are gently, yet powerfully woven through every page...the reader is given a sense of intimacy that is a rare gift from an author.' * Naga Munchetty, 2016 judge of the Women's Prize for Fiction * 'A magnificent, painful story of love and justice.' * Sainsbury's Magazine, Book Club Choice * 'A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.' * Barack Obama * '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... The prose is luminous, striking and utterly moving.' * Prof. Kate Williams, Chair of Judges, The Women's Prize for Fiction * 'It's among Tayari's many gifts that she can touch us soul to soul with her words.' * Oprah Winfrey * 'Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.' * Esquire * 'A tense and timely love story... An American Marriage is the perfect book-club book - one the whole group will finish and discuss with conviction.' * People Magazine, Book of the Week * 'A literary page-turner that's impossible to put down.' * The Los Angeles Times * 'Jones's exquisitely written novel... powerful.' * Evening Standard * '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 *
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About Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the internationally bestselling author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage, winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019. Jones is the recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and a Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. She is also a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Born in Atlanta, Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is currently professor of Creative Writing at Emory University and an Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
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Rating details

320,786 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 28% (91,246)
4 45% (142,952)
3 22% (69,356)
2 4% (13,863)
1 1% (3,369)
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