Tayari Jones brought her visceral world to the Radcliffe Gymnasium on Tuesday. The novelist, essayist, and short story writer silenced the crowd with a reading from her forthcoming novel, “Dear History,” in which she explores how the lives of a young married couple are devastated after the husband is wrongly convicted and sent to prison for 25 years. “One thing you learn in prison is that you don’t know” anything, “or that what you do know is worthless in here, like a bathtub full of pennies,” read Jones, in the words of her ill-fated protagonist, Roy. Jones strives for the spectrum of human emotion in her work: the funny, the mundane, the brutal, and the believable. “You are not done with the story until you have the full range of human experience in it,” said the associate professor of English at Rutgers University. During her fellowship year at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced...
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