Synopses & Reviews
Beautifully evocative, written by a distinctive new voice in fiction who has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, this novel portrays one of the darkest tragedies in American history through the eyes of three unforgettable children.
It was the end of summer, a summer during the two-year nightmare in which Atlanta's African-American children were vanishing and twenty-nine would be found murdered by 1982. Here fifth-grade classmates Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. The moving story of their struggle to grow up and survive Leaving Atlnata 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.
"This strongly grounded tale hums with the rhythms of schoolyard life and proves Jones to be a powerful storyteller." Publishers Weekly
"Tayari Jones explores a tragic time in Atlanta's history...but, remarkably, she manages to do so with a refreshing sense of humor and redemption." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"In style, tone, and approach, Jones's novel is reminiscent of another excellent realistic novel of African American social life, Thuliani Davis's 1959." Library Journal
"Jones is as skillful at evoking the fear and anxiety of that horrendous summer as she is at recalling coming-of-age concerns about social cliques, self-identity, and family problems." Booklist
An award-winning author makes her fiction debut with this coming-of-age story of three young black children set against the backdrop of the Atlanta child murders of 1979.
About the Author
Tayari Jones is an English professor at the University of Illinois. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Award for debut fiction.