Friday, April 20, 2012

Tayari Jones - Coming Soon

One of my favourite writers is Tayari Jones and I love her work for her bold storylines. Not for her, the perfect lead character. Neither does she go in the opposite direction with completely unlikeable characters. No, her characters are complex and multi-layered. In short, they are as human as you or I.

The first book of hers I read was The Untelling. I read it several years ago and the main character, Aria stayed with me for a long time afterwards. I can't say much about it without giving major parts of the plot away, but I will say that something Aria did not say (an impression she does not 'untell') caused her to drift into a situation that spun faster and wider than she could have imagined.

Tayari is fearless in creating fully-fleshed characters who sometimes make horrible decisions. You - the reader - know already that the end will not be a good one for the character. But they are like that friend who knows the right thing to do but chooses a different path. You can smell the very likely dangers on the horizon, but you can't do much to stop it.

Tayari is equally as bodacious in her third and most recent novel Silver Sparrow, where she explores the subject bigamy. I admire that the themes of her novels are as different from each other as can be - child murders, infertility, bigamy - and yet each uses these subjects as vehicles to explore our desires and weaknesses as human beings.

I follow Tayari's blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts and I'm constantly astonished at how she can produce such a prodigious amount of content on her social media channels and still get work done. I can only conclude that she has sharply-developed time management skills and is extremely efficient at getting down to brass tacks when it's time for work.

She has been at Radcliffe on a writing fellowship since last year and the Harvard Gazette wrote a piece on an event where she shared excerpts of her new novel-in-progress, Dear History. I cannot wait until this new book is completed and published. I know that no matter what it's about, I will get it and I will love it.

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