Tayari Jones
Fiction Writer
Valley Cottage, NY
2008 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Collins Family Foundation.

Tayari Jones is a novelist, short-fiction writer, and literary critic. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta (2002), is a coming-of-age story that centers on the Atlanta child murders of 1979–81, which occurred while Jones was a child there. She knew two of the 30 victims. The book won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Her second novel, The Untelling (2005), traces the legacy of a fatal accident that haunts a family and speaks of class and race issues within a particular neighborhood. Her highly realistic work is focused on the urban South, reflecting her interest in “recording the dynamics, landscapes, and community, which I have known.”

Portrait photo courtesy Marion Ettlinger.
  • Artwork by Tayari Jones
    The Untelling, 2005; photo courtesy Tayari Jones
Artwork by Tayari Jones