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#blacklitchat with Tayari Jones

UPDATE: Joining us for #blacklitchat on 10/30? You could win coffee and a mug from New England Coffee.


Here’s how to enter:

1. Submit a question for Tayari Jones in the comments below by 5 p.m. EST, 10/30.

2. Tweet or RT a reminder about #blacklitchat and this @ne_coffee giveaway.

(Don’t forget to leave your Twitter name in the comment with your question!)

We are celebrating the one-year anniversary of #blacklitchat with Tayari Jones as our guest author in October.

We’ll discuss her latest novel, SILVER SPARROW, at 9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30. (And yes, you can eat your Halloween candy while we chat!).

We’re so excited to be chatting with Tayari Jones – she is one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read her work yet, get your copy of SILVER SPARROW and prepare for an amazing journey. (I wrote about the novel earlier this year).

More about Tayari Jones: Tayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia where she spent most of her childhood with the exception of the one year she and her family spent in Nigeria, West Africa. Although she has not lived in her hometown for over a decade, much of her writing centers on the urban south. “Although I now live in the northeast,” she explains, “my imagination lives in Atlanta.”

Tayari Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Illinois and George Washington University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. She was named as the 2008 Collins Fellow by the United States Artists Foundation.  She will spend the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her fourth novel.

Read her full bio

Her books:



What’s SILVER SPARROW about? With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist,” Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s families– the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich and flawed characters, she also reveals the joy, and the destruction, they brought to each other’s lives.

At the heart of it all are the two girls whose lives are at stake, and like the best writers, Jones portrays the fragility of her characers with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.


“Tayari Jones is fast defining middle-class black Atlanta the way Cheever did Westchester…”
The Village Voice

“Jones is a master and Silver Sparrow is a revelation, alive with meaning and hope.”
—Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite

To join the conversation on October 30, please follow #blacklitchat on Twitter for a conversation moderated by me (@BernadetteDavis) and my co-moderator @deegospel. And if you aren’t already, follow @tayari.