Announcing the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner

19.30, London, 5thJune 2019: Americanauthor Tayari Joneshas won the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction with her fourth novel An American Marriage(Oneworld).

At an awards ceremony hosted in Bedford Square Gardens, central London – hosted by novelist and Women’s Prize Founder Director, Kate Mosse – the 2019 Chair of Judges, Kate Williams presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine. Both are anonymously endowed.

Professor Kate Williams,Chair of Judges, said: “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.”

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – one of the biggest international celebrations of women’s creativity – is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction celebrating excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.

 

The judges for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction are:

Professor Kate Williams (Chair), author, historian and Professor of History

Arifa Akbar, journalist and critic

Dolly Alderton,columnist, broadcaster and author

Leyla Hussein, campaigner and psychotherapist

Sarah Wood, digital entrepreneur

 

In addition to the Women’s Prize for Fiction winner announcement, aspiring novelist Helen Rogers was named as the winner of the Women’s Prize/Grazia First Chapter Competition for unpublished writers.

 

Now in its 24th year, the Prize aims to put exceptional quality literature from all over the world into the hands of male and female readers of all ages.

The 2019 Prize is supported by three sponsors:

 

  • Baileys; the world’s bestselling cream liqueur, which held the title sponsorship of the Prize from 2013 – 2017
  • Fremantle; one the largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world, who came on board as a sponsor for the 2019 Prize
  • NatWest; one of the UK’s leading personal, private and business banks, part of the family of sponsors since 2018

 

This year, the Prize announced it had achieved charitable status as the Women’s Prize Trust. As part of the mission to provide a platform for women’s voices, the Trust will work to grow the educational, research and engagement initiatives on offer.

Further information on the winning book and author follows.

 

-ENDS-

 

For more information or images, please contact Stand Agency:

 

E: womensprize@standagency.com/ T: 0203 696 5800

 

Briefing details:

 

Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Jones holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. She serves on the MFA faculty at Rutgers and writes regular posts at www.tayarijones.com. She lives in Brooklyn.

 

An American Marriage

Celestial and Roy are a newlywed couple with a bright future; the embodiment of 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 a routine, their lives are derailed 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 she’s built her life around until now. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

 

This is a powerful story about love and family, injustice and strength. Through An American Marriage Tayari Jones proves she is not just a masterful storyteller, but also a visionary writer, unafraid to address important issues about race, class and society head-on.