Tayari Jones won the Women’s Prize for fiction with “An American Marriage,” her story of a family torn apart by the U.S. judicial system.
The American writer’s best-selling novel — selected by Oprah Winfrey for her book club and praised by former President Barack Obama — centers on a successful African American couple in Atlanta whose marriage is tested when the husband is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit.
Historian Kate Williams, who chaired the judging panel, called the novel “a story of love, loss and intimacy that shines a light on today’s America.”
Founded in 1996, the 30,000-pound ($38,000) prize is open to female English-language writers from around the world.
Jones, a professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, beat five other finalists: Nigeria’s Oyinkan Braithwaite, U.S. author Madeline Miller and U.K. writers Pat Barker, Diana Evans and Anna Burns, winner of last year’s Booker Prize.
“An American Marriage” is Jones’ fourth novel, but the first to be published in Britain.
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