Pioneer Book Month

Information and Questions about Pioneer Book Month Events

How do I register? Register online or contact your hostess individually.

What is Pioneer Book Month?  Pioneer Book Month is a collaborative alumnae event that will reconnect alumnae to life on campus and to one another.  The Alumnae Association invites all alumnae to share in the common reading experience of Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones--the novel all incoming first-year students will read and discuss in the fall during their first-year seminar classes.  

When is Pioneer Book Month?  Pioneer Book Month will be celebrated in October with alumnae opening their homes for conversation, refreshments, and a lively book discussion.  Check out our list of events for an event in your area.

Tell me more about the book Silver Sparrow.  In Silver Sparrow, author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle. Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, Jones portrays the fragility of her characters with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.

Tell me more about Tayari Jones. Tayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she spent most of her childhood with the exception of the one year she and her family spent in Nigeria, West Africa. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a coming of age story set during the city's infamous child murders of 1979-81. Leaving Atlanta received many awards and accolades including the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. It was named "Novel of the Year" by Atlanta Magazine, and "Best Southern Novel of the Year," by Creative Loafing Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Washington Post both listed it as one of the best of 2002.

Her second novel, The Untelling, published in 2005, is the story of a family struggling to overcome the aftermath of a fatal car accident. Upon the publication of The Untelling, Essence magazine called Jones, "a writer to watch" and The Atlanta Journal Constitution proclaimed Jones to be "one of the best writers of her generation." In 2005, The Southern Regional council and the University of Georgia Libraries awarded The Untelling with the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices.

Tayari Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Illinois and George Washington University. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University.

I don't have time to read Silver Sparrow. May I still attend a Pioneer Book Month event?Yes, we encourage you to call your area hostess and reserve a space to enjoy spending time with other Wesleyan women in your city.

I live in a big city and have limited space in my home. How large a group would I be hosting? We suggest that attendees to book club events be limited to no more than 20 alumnae at each event. We anticipate having multiple Pioneer Book Month events in larger cities to accommodate all alumnae who are interested in participating.  Each event will have its own R.S.V. P. date.

What kind of refreshments should I serve? Light refreshments are the best, but selections are up to each individual hostess and her friends. Coffee and dessert is always a good choice.

What kind of resources will Wesleyan provide? Each hostess will receive a Pioneer Book Month Package that will include: name tags, sign-in sheets, discussion questions prepared by Wesleyan professors, contact information forms, a door prize, book marks, and event evaluation forms.

How will Pioneer Book Month be promoted?  The Alumnae Office will promote Pioneer Book Month through invitations, emails, and social media, and will provide hostesses with resources for your event. 

Where can I buy a copy of Silver Sparrow? You can purchase your copy of Silver Sparrow online via Barnes and Noble or Amazon.