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The Book: About Silver Sparrow

Two teenage African-American girls living in 1980s Atlanta live very different lives, except for one thing they share: a father. One mother and daughter know of their father's second family. What happens when the other mother and daughter find out?

"My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist," is the opening line of Silver Sparrow, a novel written by Tayari Jones that unveils a breathtaking story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle.
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta during the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon's families—the public one and the secret one. When Witherspoon's daughters from each family meet, they form a friendship, but only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich and flawed characters, she also reveals the joy, and the destruction, they brought to each other's lives.
At the heart of it all are two girls whose lives are at stake, and like the best writers, Jones portrays the fragility of her characters with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.


Adapted from Tayari Jones's website: www.tayarijones.com
To read an excerpt of the novel, visit arts.gov/writers-corner/bio/tayari-jones