Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma and author of five poetry collections, was the winner in the fiction category of the National Book Critics Circle Awards. She was honored for her novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (Harper, 2021). Through the perspective of one young, Black girl, Ailey Pearl Garfield, Love Songs tells the stories of several generations of Ailey’s family in central Georgia, from the removal of Indigenous people(s) to the enslavement and freedom of African Americans, and through to our present, fractious day.
The National Book Critics Circle Awards, founded in 1974 at the Algonquin Hotel, are considered among the most prestigious in American letters. Comprising more than 600 working critics and book-review editors throughout the country, the NBCC annually bestows its awards in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism, honoring the best books published in the past year in the United States.
Professor Jeffers has taught at the University of Oklahoma since 2002. She is a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Alabama.