Oprah’s Latest Pick Is Ours, Too: An American Marriage

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STOP THE PRESSES: We’d planned to tell you about our latest First Editions Club selection today, but as it turns out, we’re not the only ones who’ve singled out this book for recognition. Looks like our ol’ pal Oprah (hi, Oprah) loves this book too. So please allow us to introduce you to our February book for the First Editions Club and the latest Oprah’s Book Club pick: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

What’s it about? Here’s how the publisher sums it up:

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

We’re HOOKED. Our inventory manager, Catherine, says Jones creates such vivid inner lives for her characters that reading this novel feels like hearing a juicy story straight from a friend: “Since it’s rude to ask people probing questions about their marriages and deeply personal experiences, I find that books are the best way to get inside people’s heads and lives.” Good call, Cat.

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Peek-a-boo! This is the second time our First Editions Club reveal has coincided with Oprah’s pick. Last time was The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Why does Oprah love it? In her words:

“The novel redefines the traditional American love story. You’ll come away with greater empathy and understanding but even if you don’t, it’s just a really great read. It’s the perfect book to read along with a friend or family member. You’re going to want to have someone else reading it because it’s so juicy.”

Parnassus and Oprah aren’t alone in thinking this book has something special. Before it was even published, this book landed on the Most Anticipated Books of 2018 lists compiled by Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, BBC, Huffington Post, Bustle, Southern Living, and many more. These authors say:

  • “A stunning, epic love story filled with breathtaking twists and turns” – Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory
  • “Tayari Jones has written a complex and important novel about people trapped in a tragic situation, struggling to reconcile their responsibilities and desires.” – Tom Perrotta, author of Mrs. Fletcher
  • “Tayari Jones is blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear.” – Michael Chabon, author of Moonglow
  • “Tayari’s novel is timely, thoughtful, and beautifully written. Reading it, I found myself angry as hell, laughing out loud, choking up and cheering.” – Jacqueline Woodson, author of Another Brooklyn

We think you’ll love it, too, which is why we hope you’ll join us this Saturday for a special author reception welcoming Tayari Jones as she visits Parnassus to sign hundreds of books for our First Editions Club. No need to RSVP — just drop by at 5 and help us toast Jones in person. And walk out with an autographed first edition of our (and Oprah’s) latest favorite novel!

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RECEPTION HONORING TAYARI JONES
Parnassus Books, 5 p.m.
Saturday, February 10, 2018

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(Not in Nashville? No worries. If you join the First Editions Club today, you’ll be on the list in time to receive this book as your first shipment!)