Tayari Jones’ reading at Politics & Prose will be sort of a homecoming for the former George Washington University creative writing professor, whose beautifully turned third novel, Silver Sparrow, is narrated by Dana and Chaurisse, half-sisters who share a father but little else. Life is relatively comfortable for Chaurisse, who’s unaware that her father is a bigamist; for Dana, who’s all too aware of it, life is circumscribed by compelled silence and whatever attention dad can surreptitiously give her. “It takes no practice to know how to be someone’s daughter,” Dana says, but her very act of saying it reveals how much she’s rehearsed. It’s an unsustainable situation, of course, and Jones skillfully draws out the crisis: As Dana and Chaurisse come closer together, Jones reveals plenty about teenagers, class distinctions in black Atlanta, how men keep secrets and how women disclose them, and why people stay in relationships that work against their best interests.
The author speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.