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Extended Audio Sample Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tayari Jones Narrator: Heather Alicia Simms, Rosalyn Coleman-William Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, 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 yet flawed characters—the father, the two mothers, the grandmother, and the uncle—she reveals the joy, as well as the destruction, they brought to one another’s lives. At the heart of it all are the two lives at stake, and like the best writers—think Toni Morrison with The Bluest Eye—Jones portrays the fragility of these young girls with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A love story…Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy…Jones’ skill for wry understatement never wavers.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Charting a vast emotional unknown is Tayari Jones’ compelling third novel, Silver Sparrow, in which a teenage girl’s coming of age in 1990s Atlanta is shadowed by her dawning understanding of a corrosive secret—her father’s second family.”


  • “Absorbing…Jones writes dialogue that is realistic and sparkling, with an intuitive sense of how much to reveal and when.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Jones] is fast defining middle-class black Atlanta the way Cheever did Westchester.”

    Village Voice

  • “Impossible to put down until you find out how these sisters will discover their own versions of family.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Nakedly honest…Dazzlingly charged.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “A tense, layered, and evocative tale…Jones explores the rivalry and connection of siblings, the meaning of beauty, the perils of young womanhood, the complexities of romantic relationships, and the contemporary African-American experience.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “This is a heartbreaking story of two sisters, unknown to each other at first, who find and love each other for a short time in their lives.”


  • “[An] expansive third novel…Jones effectively blends the sisters’ varied, flawed perspectives as the characters struggle with presumptions of family and the unwieldy binds of love and identity.”


  • “Jones beautifully evokes Atlanta in the 1980s while creating gritty, imperfect characters whose pain lingers in the reader’s heart.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Tayari Jones’s immensely pleasurable new novel pulls off a minor miracle…Subtly exploring the power of labels…Jones crafts an affecting tale about things, big and small, we forfeit to forge a family. There are no winners in this empathetic and provocative story, only survivors.”


  • Selected for the June 2011 Indie Next List
  • A Top 10 2011 Library Journal Best Book for Fiction
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