This event is part of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2017/18 Literary Arts Series.
One of America’s most daring and inventive writers, Colson Whitehead is the author of the novels Zone One, Sag Harbor,The Intuitionist (a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award), John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. He has also written a book of essays about his hometown, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. Whitehead is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, among other accolades.
His latest novel, The Underground Railroad, is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The selection board hailed the book as “a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” In addition, it was the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2016. The Underground Railroad tells the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, who hears about the Underground Railroad and decides to make her terrifying escape, fleeing state by state, seeking her freedom.