Tayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia where she spent most of her childhood. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a coming of age story set during the city’s infamous child murders of 1979-81. Jones herself was in the fifth grade when thirty African American children were murdered from the neighborhoods near her home and school. Leaving Atlanta received many awards and accolades including the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. Her second novel, The Untelling, is the story of a family struggling to overcome the aftermath of a fatal car accident. Silver Sparrow, her third novel, is the coming-of-age story of two sisters. It was chosen as the #1 Indie Next pick for June 2011. Library Journal, O Magazine, Slate and Salon all selected the novel among the best of the year. She is currently an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University.