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Tayari Jones beats Nigeria’s Oyinkan Braithwaite to Win 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction

Left to right - cover page of the novel, American Marriage, author Tayari Jones
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American author Tayari Jones has won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction with An American Marriage, the judges announced Wednesday 5th June.

Tayari was among the five finalists that include Nigeria’s Oyinkan Braithwaite (My sister, the Serial Killer), Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles), Diana Evans, (26a) and Anna Burns (No Bones) shortlisted for the award on 29 April.

At the award ceremony, the author was presented with the £30,000 prize and the Bessie, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed.

Speaking at the event held in Bedford Square Gardens, Central London, the chair of judges, Kate Williams, says: “This is an exquisitely intimate portrait of a marriage shattered by racial injustice. It is a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas – that shines a light on today’s America. We all loved this brilliant book.”

I wasn’t expecting to win. The shortlist was so strong and I was honoured to be among them, but I had no idea whether I would win,” Jones says at the ceremony. “I didn’t write a speech!

Tayari Jones also won the Aspen Words Literary Prize for the novel. The book also makes Barack Obama’s reading list and Oprah’s book club.

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Tayari Jones beats Nigeria’s Oyinkan Braithwaite to Win 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction