LARB Radio Hour: “Would You Have Waited for Me?” Tayari Jones’s “An American Marriage”

LARB Radio Hour: “Would You Have Waited for Me?” Tayari Jones’s “An American Marriage”
By LARB AV –  June 22, 2018

Author Tayari Jones joins co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to talk about her latest novel, An American Marriage, that tells the story of an African-American couple that gets separated when the husband is falsely accused of a crime and receives a 12-year sentence. She realized that the key component for any novel to have a powerful political impact is having fully realized, fully human, central characters.  Tayari relates her inspiration: she set out to research the impact of mass incarceration on families; but, fittingly, she made no progress until she overheard an exchange from a couple at a mall.