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Colson Whitehead

Teoksen Maanalainen rautatie tekijä

15+ teosta 23,624 jäsentä 1,133 arvostelua 35 Favorited
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Tietoja tekijästä

Colson Whitehead was born on November 6, 1969. He graduated from Harvard College and worked at the Village Voice writing reviews of television, books, and music. His first novel, The Intuitionist, won the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award. His other books include The Colossus of New näytä lisää York, Sag Harbor, and Zone One. He won the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for John Henry Days, the PEN/Oakland Award for Apex Hides the Hurt, and the National Book Award for fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Underground Railroad. His reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Larry D. Moore


Tekijän teokset

Maanalainen rautatie (2016) 9,083 kappaletta
Nickelin pojat (2020) 4,141 kappaletta
The Intuitionist (1999) 2,239 kappaletta
Harlem Shuffle (2021) 2,221 kappaletta
Zone One (2011) 2,054 kappaletta
Sag Harbor (2009) 1,097 kappaletta
Balladi John Henrystä (2001) 792 kappaletta
Kieron miehen manifesti (2023) 598 kappaletta
Apex Hides the Hurt (2006) 578 kappaletta
The Colossus of New York (2003) — Kertoja, eräät painokset571 kappaletta

Associated Works

The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Avustaja — 630 kappaletta
Get Your War On (2002) — Johdanto, eräät painokset302 kappaletta
Granta 86: Film (2004) — Avustaja — 206 kappaletta
The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles (2008) — Avustaja — 103 kappaletta
Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics (2005) — Avustaja — 70 kappaletta
Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor (2006) — Avustaja — 66 kappaletta
The Best Mystery Stories of the Year: 2022 (2022) — Avustaja — 41 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Maa (karttaa varten)
New York, New York, USA
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Harvard College (1991)
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Whiting Writers' Award (2000)
MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" (2002)
Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers fellowship
Young Lions Fiction Award (2002)
John Dos Passos Prize (2012)
National Humanities Medal (2021)
Nicole Aragi
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Arch Colson Chipp Whitehead (born November 6, 1969) is an American novelist. He is the author of seven novels, including his 1999 debut work, The Intuitionist, and The Underground Railroad (2016), for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction again in 2020 for The Nickel Boys. He has also published two books of non-fiction. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship ("Genius Grant").



October 2023: Colson Whitehead, Monthly Author Reads (marraskuu 2023)
April 2020: Colson Whitehead, Monthly Author Reads (elokuu 2020)


The power of Oprah Winfrey in the world of books is hard to overstate. Indeed, it is such than in 2016, her selection of The Underground Railroad for her legendary book club drove Colson Whitehead and his publisher to release it two months ahead of schedule. From there, it won a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, and ended up on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize. Obviously that kind of critical attention had nothing to do with Winfrey, but it probably helped the book become a #1 best-seller. Which means that a lot of people who might not have otherwise picked it up did, which is a good thing because this book bends time and history to lay out a damning case on the way America has done wrong by Black people.

Set in the antebellum South, The Underground Railroad focuses on the journey of one slave woman, Cora, towards freedom. The granddaughter of a woman who survived the Middle Passage and was enslaved in Georgia, and the daughter of a slave who ran away when she was just a child, Cora has spent much of her life as an outcast even among her own community. So she's surprised when another slave, Caesar, approaches her to run away with him to find the Underground Railroad. In Whitehead's alternative history, the railroad is literal...there are stations built into the earth that spirit slaves away to the north.

Run away they do, and Cora finds herself first in South Carolina, which in this world has outlawed slavery but holds ownership of Black people itself, and then distributes them as it sees fit in service work. But they're also secretly infecting men with syphilis to study it, and sterilizing women...and then Cora finds out she's being chased by a man called Ridgeway, a slave catcher. So the next stop is North Carolina, which has abolished slavery too...out of a fear that the Black majority population of the state will rebel against their masters. It's replaced their labor with white indentured servants, and escaped slaves are publicly executed. Cora hides there for a while, but before she can devise an escape, she's caught by Ridgeway. That doesn't mean she stops fighting for her freedom, but freedom isn't an easy thing for a slave to find.

I wanted to love this. I wanted to find it a revelation. And it's good, very good actually. Whitehead's prose is both lovely and powerful. And I understand why he can't "go easy" on Cora...it reads sometimes like she's a punching bag for the universe and she barely gets room to breathe before she's knocked down again, but that's probably what it feels like to be African-American, obviously back then and to a lesser but still very real degree even now. And the characters are interesting, with Whitehead even writing one-off chapters from perspectives other than Cora's, to give us context for the people who have an impact on Cora's life and where they're coming from when they interact with her.

But I just never connected with and got emotionally invested in the novel the way I do for the books that distinguish themselves for me as "great". I cared only in a kind of distant way about Cora, and for all that the side characters were developed they mostly just faded away...when Caesar and Cora are separated relatively early in the proceedings, for instance, I never found myself missing him on the page. And while I cared about Cora and what was going to become of her, it was never in the way where I wanted to skip ahead to see how she might make it around each obstacle thrown in her path. I'm not quite sure why that was, honestly...like I said, Whitehead's writing is incredible so it's not for any lack of ability to make her more compelling on his part. It just didn't quite get there for me. Nevertheless, it's a very good and powerful book, and one that I'd recommend to just about everyone.
… (lisätietoja)
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ghneumann | 455 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 14, 2024 |
This is my third Whitehead book, and at this point it seems like the only real conclusion I can draw is that while I definitely highly recommend his work and will continue to read it eagerly, I struggle to really get drawn into his stories even as his mastery of his craft is obvious. I admire him more than love him, if that makes sense. This is definitely a bummer book, being rooted in real-life abuses perpetrated at a reform school in Florida.
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ghneumann | 218 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 14, 2024 |
A noir about elevators that works on so many levels.. ho ho. As is often the case, the payoff disappoints but the journey and po-faced seriousness with which it treats its ridiculous premise is richly rewarding.
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alexrichman | 63 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 8, 2024 |
I have eagerly anticipated and delighted in reading Colson Whitehead's novels ever since I first read The Intuitionist. In his recent novel, Harlem Shuffle, the tension increases with each act as Ray Carney, the main character, delves further and deeper into the world of crime. Social unrest, racism, and classicism are the backdrop against which it is set. As a black man, Carney faces ongoing obstacles in his pursuit of success. He encounters class and racial divides in addition to them.

While racism is pervasive in Harlem Shuffle, to the point where the characters find it difficult to imagine a society in which everyone is treated equally, it plays an equally large role in the evolution of the 1960s New York City and Harlem communities. Even though there are several civil rights demonstrations throughout the book and people are aware of social injustice, characters like Ray have a negative outlook on racism. In addition, a number of unsavory characters are highlighted, including Ray Carney, who the reader found endearing, as part of a skillful depiction of the apparent side of Harlem business.

The book ends with what I consider its best narrative section making it impossible not to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great read.
… (lisätietoja)
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jwhenderson | 104 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 30, 2024 |


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