By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Tayari Jones, considered one of the most important voices in African-American literature today, will give a reading from her newest book, Silver Sparrow, Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.
The reading, which will be followed by a book signing, is free and open to the public.
The Los Angeles Times has called Silver Sparrow "impossible to put down," and Booklist has called the work "expansive." The book was also an American Booksellers Association pick.
Silver Sparrow revolves around the twin families of secret bigamist James Witherspoon, only one of which knows about the other. Focused mainly on Witherspoon's daughters, Dana and Chaurisse, the narrative engages in a careful dance between the two girls' voices, Dana lurking and curious in the corners of Chaurisse's life until the two meet.
Simultaneously a coming-of-age tale and an exploration of the nature of secrets and family, and of knowing and unknowing, the novel "lays the groundwork for one of literature's most intriguing extended families," according to the Washington Post.
Jones is the author of two other novels, both set in her hometown of Atlanta. Her first, Leaving Atlanta, was awarded the 2003 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her second, The Untelling, earned the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices.
An associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University, Jones is spending the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her fourth novel.
The recipient of an MFA from Arizona State University, she has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Illinois and George Washington University. She was named the 2008 Collins Fellow by the United States Artists Foundation.
During her visit to Bucknell, Jones also will participate in a student and faculty workshop as well as a Silver Sparrow book group and discussion.
Sponsors for her visit are the Griot Institute for Africana Studies, the Stadler Center for Poetry, and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender.
Contact: Division of Communications