According to her website, she grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and uses this as the setting for her books. She currently works as an Assistant Professor for the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. Her debut, Leaving Atlanta, (aforementioned) is a fictional story about the real life child murders in Atlanta from 1979-1981. Don't know how I never heard about that but that's crazy. I'm definitely intrigued by the book.
Now about her newest book... Silver Sparrow comes out May 31, 2011 and looks like yet another one that I must read.
Synopsis from bn.com:
Sounds good, doesn't it!!
With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two 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 yet flawed characters—the father, the two mothers, the grandmother, and the uncle—she also reveals the joy, as well as the destruction, they brought to one another’s lives.
At the heart of it all are the two lives at stake, and like the best writers—think Toni Morrison with The Bluest Eye—Jones portrays the fragility of these young girls with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women, just not as their mothers.