Tayari Jones accepts the 2019 Aspen Words Literary Prize

[Applause] [Applause] thank you – Aspen words for this award for having this award at all because so many of us who want to write and engage the issues of the day we're encouraged not to we're told that that's not what real art does and an award like this I think it encourages all of us to keep following the strength of our convictions and I also would like to thank my publisher Algonquin Books who has taken a chance on me and this book and the book before it and my parents are not here but I mean they're here in the world they're just they're not in the room they're there in their home in Atlanta and I just I owe them so much for giving me the opportunity to be the person I wanted to be as long as I did it in the service of justice and finally thank you to all of you all for helping us remember that books matter that stories matter when you're a writer you know people are constantly telling you that no one reads anymore that everyone just you know tweets they tell you they tell you that you know a Kindle is going to drown you in the bathtub I feel like if you're black they tell you a racist Kindle is going to drown you in the bathtub but you thank you for reminding us that what this work is important and makes a difference thank you so much [Applause] [Applause]

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