Silver Sparrow

By Tayari Jones

Published by Algonquin Books

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 the two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in a middle-class neighborhood 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. This is the third stunning novel from an author deemed “one of the most important writers of her generation” (the Atlanta Journal Constitution).

$14.95 (US)

Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
368
Publication date
May 08, 2012
ISBN
9781616201425
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Tayari Jones

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Review quotes
“[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.”—Booklist
"A love story... full of perverse wisdom and proud joy....Jones's skill for wry understatement never
wavers."—O, The Oprah Magazine
“If your mom is a fan of emotionally charged morality tales (and whose mom isn’t?), she’s going to devour Tayari Jones’s third novel, Silver Sparrow, in a single sitting. Jones, a native Atlantan, once again mines her town for material and strikes serious pay dirt. Sparrow introduces us to sisters Dana Lynn Yarboro and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon, who were born four months apart from different mothers and have never met. One reason? Their father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist who has gone to great pains to ensure they remain in the dark about each other. And when they do meet, that’s when Sparrow gets really good.”—Essence
“A graceful and shining work about finding the truth.” – Library Journal, starred review
“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
“Impossible to put down until you find out how these sisters will discover their own versions of family.”—Los Angeles Times
“It’s an amazing, amazing read.”—Jennifer Weiner on NBC’s “The Today Show”
Silver Sparrow is rich, substantive, meaningful. It is also, at turns, funny and sharp, haunting and heartbreaking.”—The Root
“Absorbing . . . Jones writes dialogue that is realistic and sparkling, with an intuitive sense of how much to reveal and when.”--Washington Post
“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.”—MORE
“Charting a vast emotional unknown is Tayari Jones's 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.” – Vogue
“Nakedly honest...dazzlingly charged” —Atlanta Journal Constitution
“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.” – The Oklahoman
“This is a precisely written, meticulously controlled work. It’s also one that leaves room for the messiness of fragmented lives — an impressive command of the craft at hand, and its paradoxes.”—Vol. 1 Brooklyn
“Beautifully written, Silver Sparrow will break your heart.”—Brooklyn Rail
“[Jones] is fast defining middle-class black Atlanta the way Cheever did Westchester” – Village Voice
“Tayari Jones has taken Atlanta for her literary terroir, and like many of our finest novelists, she gives readers a sense of place in a deeply observed way. But more than that, Jones has created in her main characters tour guides of that region: honest, hurt, observant and compelling young women whose voices cannot be ignored . . . Impossible to put down until you find out how these sisters will discover their own versions of family.”
Los Angeles Times
“An amazing, amazing read.”
—Jennifer Weiner on NBC’s Today show

“Tayari Jones’s immensely pleasurable new novel pulls off a minor miracle . . . 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, just survivors.” —More


“A love story . . . Full of perverse wisdom and proud joy . . . Jones’s skill for wry understatement never wavers.” —O: The Oprah Magazine


“That Jones offers no pat answers is the secret sauce spicing Silver Sparrow. The prose goes down so compulsively that it might be easy to miss the heart of the story. She shines a light on a particular disenfranchised group, the children who grow up in second families.” —The Denver Post

“Populating this absorbing novel is a vivid cast of characters . . . Jones writes dialogue that is realistic and sparkling, with an intuitive sense of how much to reveal and when . . . One of literature’s most intriguing extended families.” —The Washington Post


“Jones gives us permission to love all of the novel’s women, though they are flawed and often refuse to love each other. That’s a recipe for great book club discussions.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel