Colson Whitehead: Winner of the National Book Award & Pulitzer Prize
Tickets are now available online and at Lackawanna County Libraries for Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, who, will deliver the Lackawanna County Library System’s 2018 American Masters Lecture on Thursday, November 15, at 7 p.m., in the Scranton Cultural Center.
Whitehead, 48, has had six novels and two works of non-fiction published. He won the National Book Award in 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2017. He has also received a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “Genius Award”) and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
But it is The Underground Railroad that catapulted Whitehead into the ranks of leading American authors.
The book follows a young African-American woman named Cora in her flight from slavery. Whitehead created a physical railroad that runs in underground tunnels as a metaphor that moves Cora on a journey with stops that illuminate the story of the slave-era South as it was experienced by the victims of slavery.
It was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction by the American Library Association. It was also a New York Times #1 Bestseller.
Whitehead’s other novels are: The Intuitionist, a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award; John Henry Days, a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; Apex Hides the Hurt; Sag Harbor; and Zone One.
His non-fiction books are The Colossus of New York, a history of that city; and The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death, a book about the World Series of Poker, which Whitehead, a non-gambler, competed in to fulfill a magazine writing assignment.
He has also written non-fiction articles for a number of leading periodicals including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Granta, and Harper’s.
A New York City native, he attended Trinity School in Manhattan and graduated from Harvard University.
In addition to his writing, he has taught at Princeton University, New York University, the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Wesleyan University, and been writer-in-residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.