The novelist Tayari Jones has been named the winner of the 2019 women’s fiction prize, one of UK’s most prestigious annual book awards. Set up to celebrate originality, accessibility & excellence in writing by women and to connect world-class writers with readers everywhere the 24th edition of the awards saw the finest works from around the world.
An intimate portrayal of marriage shattered by racial injustice, An American Marriage is a story of love, loss, and loyalty painted with deft strokes on a political canvas. The story is about a black man wrongly convicted of rape and the toll it takes on his personal life and relationship. An American Marriage which is Jones’ fourth novel was announced in Oprah’s book club pick as one of the books she couldn’t put down.
Recognising the diversity of women’s voices from around the world, this year saw the 2018 Man Booker Prize-winning Milkman by Anna Burns in the shortlist along with, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Ordinary People by Diana Evans, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and Circe by Madeline Miller.
The winner of the award receives prize money of £30,000. The panel of judges included the University of Reading alum, Professor Kate Williams, best-selling author Dolly Alderton, journalist Arifa Akbar, psychotherapist Leyla Hussein and entrepreneur Sarah Wood.