An American Marriage
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION
The celebrated author of Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones, is back with a profoundly rendered story of love and its limits. In An American Marriage we meet Celestial, a thirtysomething African American woman from an upper-middle-class Atlanta family who is a year and a half into a marriage with a man named Roy. Roy views his much more modest, small-town Louisiana upbringing as a gift of humility, but he's also driven to make his mark in Atlanta's high-powered business world. On the sidelines as the novel begins is Andre, a man who was Celestial's best friend growing up, and who became a close friend to Roy during college. It was Andre who introduced the pair, and it is Andre to whom Celestial turns when Roy is sentenced to twelve years in a Louisiana prison for the rape of a white woman--a crime he did not commit. For years, Celestial sticks by Roy, visiting him, providing him with money, helping the lawyer pursue a reversal of the conviction, but over time her commitment wanes. Celestial questions their tumultuous marriage, begins to find her own way as an artist, and falls in love with Andre. When Roy is suddenly released from prison, his conviction overturned, Celestial, Roy, and Andre must each reexamine the bonds of love and friendship that have held them together, while at the same time searching for a way to move forward individually without sacrificing everything that had made their love possible. An American Marriage stuns with its emotional intensity, and grapples with the universal and relatable themes of what it means to be a husband, a wife, a father, a son, a daughter--as well as what it means to be black in America today.