> Skip to content

One of the most anticipated novels of 2018 according to Oprah * BBC * Buzzfeed * Washington Post * New York Times * Goodreads * Elle * Cosmopolitan * Huffington Post * Esquire * Bookish * Nylon * Kirkus * iBooks Store

An explosive love story about a marriage interrupted.

Could you put your life on hold for twelve years? A stunning love story about family, injustice and marriage, and three people at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when 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.

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 that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward with hope and pain into the future.

‘Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear.’
Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
‘A stunning, epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns, while bursting with realized and unrealized dreams.’
Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory

‘A heartbreaking and genuinely suspenseful love story in which nobody's wrong and everybody's wounded.’
Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children

Reviews

Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear. That has been true from her very first book, but with An American Marriage that vision, that strength and that truth-telling voice have found a new level of artistry and power.

Michael Chabon

Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful.

Kirkus

among the first great literary works to arise from the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tin House

Tayari Jones’ American Marriage is a stunning epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns, while bursting with realized and unrealized dreams. Skillfully crafted and beautifully written, American Marriage is an exquisite, timely, and powerful novel that feels both urgent and indispensable.

Edwidge Danticat

Tayari Jones understands love and loss and writes with passion and precision about the forces that move us all from one to another.

Amy Bloom

Tayari Jones is a great storyteller. An American Marriage holds the reader from first page to last, with her compassionate observation, her clear-eyed insight and her beautifully written and complex characters. Jones understands love and loss and writes with passion and precision about the forces that move us all from one to another.

Amy Bloom

I love An American Marriage, and I’m so excited for this book to be in the world. Tayari’s novel is timely, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Reading it, I found myself angry as hell, laughing out loud, choking up and cheering. A gem of a book.

Jacqueline Woodson

a compelling exploration of the thorny conflicts that drive us apart and bind us, the distorting weight of racism, and how commitment looks across time – and generations.

BBC Culture

Compelling

Washington Post

An American Marriage asks hard questions about injustice and betrayal, and answers them with a heartbreaking and genuinely suspenseful love story in which nobody’s wrong and everybody’s wounded. Tayari Jones has written a complex and important novel about people trapped in a tragic situation, struggling to reconcile their responsibilities and desires.

Tom Perrotta

Jones crafts an affecting tale that explores marriage, family, regret, and other feelings made all the more resonant by her well-drawn characters and their intricate conflicts of heart and mind.

Booklist

Exquisite

Bustle

one of 2018’s best novels

Elle

I love An American Marriage and I’m so excited for this book to be in the world. Tayari’s novel is timely, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Reading it, I found myself angry as hell, laughing out loud, choking up and cheering. A gem of a book.

Jacqueline Woodson

Jones writes brilliantly about expectations and loss and racial injustice, and how love must evolve when our best laid plans go awry.

Esquire

a whirlpool of race, resilience, and rich writing

Vanity Fair

Jones uses her love triangle to explore simmering class tensions and reverberating racial injustice in the contemporary South, while also delivering a satisfying romantic drama.

Publishers' Weekly

Jones is a master with words and An American Marriage is the wordsmith at the top of her game.

Bitch Media

Tayari Jones provides an essential contemporary portrait of a marriage in this searing novel. An American Marriage gorgeously evokes the New South as it explores mass incarceration on a personal level.

EW

a challenging, important and fascinating read

AM New York

An American Marriage is Tayari Jones’s extraordinary fourth novel, a page-turning love story with a powerful political undercurrent. It’s as much a novel about family and race, expectation and desire, loneliness and loyalty as it is a story about how readily the American Dream can be derailed on the basis of skin color.

Barnes and Noble

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143789604

    January 29, 2018

    Vintage Australia

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143789611

    January 29, 2018

    Random House Australia

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Extract

ONE

Bridge Music

Roy

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don’t. I’m a proud member of the first category. My wife, Celestial, used to say that I’m a country boy at the core, but I never cared for that designation. For one, I’m not from the country per se. Eloe, Louisiana, is a small town. When you hear “country,” you think raising crops, baling hay, and milking cows. Never in my life have I picked a single cotton boll, although my daddy did. I have never touched a horse, goat, or pig, nor have I any desire to. Celestial used to laugh, clarifying that she’s not saying I’m a farmer, just country. She is from Atlanta, and there was a case to be made that she is country, too. But let her tell it, she’s a “southern woman,” not to be confused with a “southern belle.” For some reason, “Georgia peach” is all right with her, and it’s all right with me, so there you have it.

Continue Reading

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
The Golden Age
Tiger Men
Fifty Shades Darker
Ready Player One
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home
The Secret Vineyard
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Uncommon Type