An American Marriage

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Celestial and Roy seem to have it all: they're successful — him a young executive, her a rising artist — and reveling in the glow of their recent wedding.  Their lives together in Atlanta seem to only be getting better, but one trip to visit Roy's parents in Atlanta destroys everything:  Roy is accused of a terrible crime and immediately arrested.  Though Celestial is certain he is innocent, Roy's case ends in a startling conviction.

As the length and circumstances of their time apart slowly eclipses the happiness in their marriage, the ties that once bound them begin to fray.  And once Roy finally gets out, determined to make up for lost time, he discovers that Celestial has not paused her life to match his. 

An American Marriage is a slow burn of a novel, exploring themes of race, justice, masculinity, and both the power and brittleness of love.

“I'm alone in a way that's more than the fact that I am the only living person within these walls. Up until now, I thought I knew what was and wasn't possible. Maybe that's what innocence is, having no way to predict the pain of the future. When something happens that eclipses the imaginable, it changes a person. It's like the difference between a raw egg and a scrambled egg. It's the same thing, but it's not the same at all. That's the best way I can put it. I look in the mirror and I know it's me, but I can't quite recognize myself.”

Tayari Jones is an American novelist; her books include An American Marriage, Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta.  She currently teaches creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Published:  2018
Length:  308 pages
Main Setting:  Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Secondary Setting: 
Louisiana, U.S.