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Interview: Tayari Jones Proves Good Drama Doesn't Need Trauma in 'Half Light'

'...as a reader, as a listener, we all would appreciate a moment to exit what we're dealing with right now.'
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  • Half Light
  • '...as a reader, as a listener, we all would appreciate a moment to exit what we're dealing with right now.'

About the Creator

Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage. Published in 2018, An American Marriage is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his year-end roundup. The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award. It has been published in two dozen countries. Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Her third novel, Silver Sparrow, was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016.
Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

About the Performer

Bahni Turpin is a Los Angeles-based actress with many television and film credits in addition to being an award winning narrator. She is honored to have been awarded an Audie for Best Female Narrator, 2015, Audible Narrator of the Year, 2016, and American Library Association’s Voice of Choice for 2017. In 2018, Bahni won best female narration again, and was also inducted into the Audible Hall of Fame. She is a two-time Odyssey Award winner, and was also named as one of Audiophile's Golden Voices for 2019.

Featured Article: Must-Hear Contemporary Black Women Authors


It’s a fact that a high percentage of the best books that have come out in this century have been written by Black women authors. (Truth be told, there are so many excellent works that this list could simply centered on the best contemporary authors and still be accurate.) Nevertheless, Black women’s stories deserve to be heard, and when the stories are this compelling, this engaging, and this beautifully written, they’re impossible to ignore.

What listeners say about Half Light

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Half Light

I don't normally listen to this type of book, but I really enjoyed it. There was so much meaning behind the story. I think it could have been a little longer, just to explain more, but was good. The narration was very good.

16 people found this helpful

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Nice little bonding story between twin sisters

Nice little story of bonding between twin sisters Camelia (Cam) and Amelia (Lia) by Tayari Jones. Nice narration by Bahni Turpin. The story revolves around the painting of the twins' mother which they both tresure beyond anything, while slightly touching their childhood, careers, their family bonding and their bonding over the years as sisters. Nice audiobook. A feel good short story.

14 people found this helpful

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BEAUTIFULLY DONE

This story was so beautifully done. I only wish it was longer. The dynamic between the sisters was well developed and inspired. Made me wish I was a twin.

11 people found this helpful

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A great short about reconciling to oneself

Love the short story. I really like the performance as well. I would love to hear the expanded version of this story.

10 people found this helpful

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  • BB
  • 09-01-20

Enjoyable short story with great narration.

A well-written little story to listen to while doing chores around the house or during a commute. Well paced with interesting characters. It keeps you engaged throughout to see what happens.

If the summary sounds interesting to you, give this one a listen.

10 people found this helpful

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five stars!

Another masterpiece from Tayari Jones! She is an exceptional storyteller, mastering complex characters and engaging plots. Really enjoyed the exploration of twin sisters.

10 people found this helpful

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I don’t get the hype

I just don’t get all the great reviews on this book. I just could t get into it. I fell asleep toward the end. Too much hype not enough storyline for me. Just a lot of endless uninteresting self talk. Sorry.

7 people found this helpful

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Charming Tale

Wish it had been a full book. I wanted more, more, more. As well written as An American Marriage,

6 people found this helpful

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An Audible narrated by Bahni Turpin draws me!

This story was poignant and funny. I loved the fact that it was about upper middle class African Americans with every man problems.

Turpin does phenomenal job of making each character come to life. I could even see the pine trees and foliage of north Atlanta as she read.

Jones is quick witted and a smart writer. The characters are well developed and the story left me wondering about Amelia and Cam’s mother’s story—I hope to see a prologue story to bring this season in a family’s life full circle.

This was included in my membership; but I would have easily paid for this as if it were a novel. I’m fact, I immediately searched for a few Tayari Jones novels that I have not read.

Yeah, I may be an uber-fan.

6 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

This was an interesting short audible original. I enjoyed An American Marriage, so I was anxious to try this; the characters were interesting and the story was concise and well told. The narration was also very good.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Akilah
  • 12-28-21

easy listen

narrator was good. An easy listen.

OK story.

engaging enough for a free hour or two