Tayari Jones (born November 30, 1970, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American author and winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. She was educated at Spelman College, the University of Iowa and Arizona State University.
Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a three-voiced coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979-81. This novel, which was written while she was a graduate student at Arizona State University, is based on the experience as a child in Atlanta during that period. It won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Aletha Spann of 30Nineteen Productions has purchased the film option for Leaving Atlanta.
The Untelling is also set in Atlanta. Described by Publishers Weekly as Jones’s “deep-felt second novel”, the book examines how the protagonist comes to terms with the loss of key members of her family as a child before having to redefine herself all over again in her mid-twenties.It was awarded the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices in 2005.
Silver Sparrow, Jones’s third novel, was published by Algonquin Books in 2011. It was an American Booksellers Association’s number 1 “Indie Next” pick.
Tayari Jones has taught creative writing at The University of Illinois and also at George Washington University, where she served as the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington. She is now a member of the MFA faculty at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University. Her brother is the sports pundit Bomani Jones.
- Adamou Idé – 22 November 1951
- Valerie Wilson Wesley – 22 November 1947
- Mary Walker Phillips – 23 November 1923 – died 3November 2007
- Zoë Wicomb – 23 November 1948
- Richard Dogbeh – 1932– died 23 November 2003
- Nuruddin Farah – 24 November 1945
- Obo Aba Hisanjani – 24 November 1949
- Ahmadou Kourouma – 24 November 1927 – died 11 December 2003
- F.A. Venter – 27 November 1916 – died 1997
- Antoine Abel – 27 November 1934 – October 19, 2004
- Dennis Brutus – 28 November 1924 – died 26 December 2009
- Achmat Dangor – 30 November 1947
- Tayari Jones – 30 November 1970
- Gordon Parks – 30 November 1912 –died 7 March 2006