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Oneworld to publish Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow

28th August, 2019

Critically acclaimed in the US, Silver Sparrow will be the second novel by Tayari Jones to be published in the UK. Oneworld’s acquisition comes after An American Marriage scooped the Women’s Prize for Fiction in June. Publisher Juliet Mabey has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada/ANZ) from Kendra Poster at Algonquin, on behalf of agent Jane Dystel. Oneworld will publish in March 2020, with international deals signed in Australia, France and Germany.

Silver Sparrow, the compelling story of two half-sisters bound by family secrets will be a lead title for Oneworld next year, launching with a high impact marketing campaign, an early and exclusive feature of which will be a special edition of beautifully bound proofs. Following exceptionally high demand from event organisers and retailers, there will also be a six city UK tour including London and key literary festivals in May.


‘My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist’. So begins the breath-taking story of a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle. Silver Sparrow focuses on the corrosive ambiguity of a unique dynamic spanning three generations. At the heart of the novel are two half-sisters growing up in Atlanta. One of the girls is acknowledged by their father whilst the other is kept a secret. Written with the same wisdom, precision and sensitivity that drew so many readers to An American Marriage, Silver Sparrow has all the signs of a classic in the making; raising the story of one family to address universal themes of honesty and trust between the people we love.

Juliet Mabey said of the deal, “What I love about Tayari Jones’ writing is that she boldly explores emotionally loaded issues, as we saw with her multi-award-winning An American Marriage. Weaving deceptively simple plots around incredibly complex and nuanced characters, she creates these meticulously controlled, multi-layered, meaningful stories that just haunt you. She’s addictive!”

Tayari Jones said, “I am so delighted that Silver Sparrow is being published by Oneworld. I hope that it will connect with readers in the UK— after all it’s a family story and the only theme more universal than family is family secrets.”

Silver Sparrow HB

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