Leaving Atlanta

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FROM THE AUTHOR OF AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, AN OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION

It's the end of summer in Atlanta, and fifth-grade classmates Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover that back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. Because it was the summer during which Atlanta's African-American children were vanishing.

The moving story of their struggle to grow up and survive shimmers with the piercing, ineffable quality of childhood, as it captures all the hurts and little wins, the all-too-sudden changes, and the merciless, outside forces that can sweep the young into adulthood and forever shape their lives.

PRAISE FOR TAYARI JONES
"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

"Tayari Jones has emerged as one of the most important voices of her generation."-Essence

"One of America's finest writers."-Nylon.com

"Tayari Jones is a wonderful storyteller." -Ploughshares

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About the author

Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, Leaving Atlanta, and An American Marriage. She holds degrees from Spelman College, Arizona State University, and the University of Iowa. An Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University, she is spending the 2017-18 academic year as the Shearing Fellow for Distinguished Writers at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She blogs on writing at TayariJones.com/blog, and she lives in Brooklyn.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grand Central Publishing
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Published on
May 30, 2009
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780446559652
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / African American / General
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Crime
Fiction / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special eBook edition of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide. 
 
The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. 
 
A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. 

Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION

“One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon . . . An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama

“Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today
 
“A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People
 
“Compelling.” —The Washington Post
 
“Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle

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.
 
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
Georgia Center for the Book has chosen Atlanta Noir as one of 2018's Books All Georgians Should Read!

Kenji Jasper's "A Moment of Clarity at the Waffle House" nominated for a 2018 Edgar Award for Best Short Story!

"Atlanta has its share, maybe more than its share, of prosperity. But wealth is no safeguard against peril...Creepy as well as dark, grim in outlook...Hints of the supernatural may make these tales...appealing to lovers of ghost stories."
--Kirkus Reviews

"These stories, most of them by relative unknowns, offer plenty of human interest...All the tales have a Southern feel."
--Publishers Weekly

"Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta, returns to the South via Akashic's ever-growing city anthology series. The collection features stories from an impressive roster of talent including Jim Grimsley, Sheri Joseph, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms and David James Poissant. The 14 selections each take place in different Atlanta neighborhood."
--Atlanta-Journal Constitution

"Now comes Atlanta Noir, an anthology that masterfully blends a chorus of voices, both familiar and new, from every corner of Atlanta...The magic of Atlanta Noir is readily apparent, starting with the introduction Jones pens. It doesn’t rest solely upon the breadth of writers but on how their words, stories and references are so Atlanta--so very particular, so very familiar and so very readily, for those who know the city, nostalgic. And for those who don’t? The sense of place it captures inspires a desire to get to know Atlanta and its stories."
--ArtsATL

Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. This much-anticipated and long-overdue installment in Akashic's Noir Series reveals many sides of Atlanta known only to its residents.

Brand-new stories by: Tananarive Due, Kenji Jasper, Tayari Jones, Dallas Hudgens, Jim Grimsley, Brandon Massey, Jennifer Harlow, Sheri Joseph, Alesia Parker, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms, John Holman, Daniel Black, and David James Poissant.

From the introduction by Tayari Jones:

Atlanta itself is a crime scene. After all, Georgia was founded as a de facto penal colony and in 1864, Sherman burned the city to the ground. We might argue about whether the arson was the crime or the response to the crime, but this is indisputable: Atlanta is a city sewn from the ashes and everything that grows here is at once fertilized and corrupted by the past...

These stories do not necessarily conform to the traditional expectations of noir...However, they all share the quality of exposing the rot underneath the scent of magnolia and pine. Noir, in my opinion, is more a question of tone than content. The moral universe of the story is as significant as the physical space. Noir is a realm where the good guys seldom win; perhaps they hardly exist at all. Few bad deeds go unrewarded, and good intentions are not the road to hell, but are hell itself...Welcome to

Atlanta Noir. Come sit on the veranda, or the terrace of a high-rise condo. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and fortify it with a slug of bourbon. Put your feet up. Enjoy these stories, and watch your back.

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