The novelist opens up about her process and her new novel ‘An American Marriage’

IN 2009, four years after the release of her second novel, The Untelling, Tayari Jones found herself without a publisher. Her sales numbers were hardly strong—in fact, she says, she had become “radioactive.” “I was so depressed,” Jones, 47, says. At the time, she had begun work on a new novel, which would eventually become the best-selling Silver Sparrow. “The only reason I kept working on Sparrow was because I tell my students that you write a book for you and not your publisher. I couldn’t face them every day if I were to give up on that project.” She finally completed the manuscript with the help of a grant from the...



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