Colson Whitehead at the 2009 Texas Book Festival.
|Born||November 6, 1969 (47 years old)
New York City, New York, United States
|Notable works||The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Zone One, The Underground Railroad|
Colson Whitehead (born November 6, 1969) is a New York-based novelist. He is the author of six novels, including his debut work, the 1999 novel The Intuitionist, and the National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad. He has also published two books of non-fiction. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.
Whitehead has since produced seven book-length works—six novels and a meditation on life in Manhattan in the style of E.B. White's famous essay Here Is New York. The novels are 1999's The Intuitionist, 2001's John Henry Days, 2003's The Colossus of New York, 2006's Apex Hides the Hurt, 2009's Sag Harbor, 2011's Zone One, a New York Times Bestseller; and 2016's The Underground Railroad, which earned a National Book Award for Fiction. Esquire magazine named The Intuitionist the best first novel of the year, and GQ called it one of the "novels of the millennium." Novelist John Updike, reviewing The Intuitionist in The New Yorker, called Whitehead "ambitious," "scintillating," and "strikingly original," adding, "The young African-American writer to watch may well be a thirty-one-year-old Harvard graduate with the vivid name of Colson Whitehead."
Whitehead's The Intuitionist was nominated as the Common Novel at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The Common Novel nomination was part of a long-time tradition at the Institute that included authors like Maya Angelou, Andre Dubus III, William Joseph Kennedy, and Anthony Swofford.
His non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death was published by Doubleday in 2014.
He has taught at Princeton University, New York University, the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.
In the spring of 2015, he joined The New York Times Magazine to write a column on language.
- 2000 Whiting Award
- 2002 MacArthur Fellowship
- 2007 Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars Fellowship
- 2012 Dos Passos Prize
- 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship
For The Intuitionist
- Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award
- Finalist, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
For John Henry Days
- Young Lions Fiction Award
- Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
- Finalist, Pulitzer Prize
- Finalist, National Book Critics Circle
- Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize
For Sag Harbor
For Zone One
- Finalist, Hurston-Wright Legacy Award
- The Intuitionist (1999)
- John Henry Days (2001)
- Apex Hides the Hurt (2006)
- Sag Harbor (2009)
- Zone One (2011)
- The Underground Railroad (2016)
- The Colossus of New York (2003)
- The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death (2014)
- "Lost and Found". The New York Times Magazine. 11 November 2001.
- "A Psychotronic Childhood". The New Yorker. 4 June 2012.
- "Hard Times in the Uncanny Valley". Grantland. ESPN. 24 August 2012.
- "Occasional Dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia". Grantland. ESPN. 19 May 2013.
- "Down in Front". Granta (86: Film). Summer 2004. (Subscription Required)
- "Colson Whitehead". Colsonwhitehead.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Nancy Smith (2012-07-17). "Interview with Colson Whitehead". The Rumpus. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, 2016 National Book Award Winner, Fiction".
- "Colson Whitehead". Pen.org. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- John Updike, "Tote That Ephemera," The New Yorker, May 7, 2001.
- "Colson Whitehead to be awarded Longwood's Dos Passos Prize for Literature". Longwood University. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Allie Malloy, "Obama summer reading list: 'The Girl on the Train'", CNN, August 12, 2016.
- Sarah Begley, "Here’s What President Obama Is Reading This Summer", Time magazine, August 12, 2016.
- Fain, Kimberly. Colson Whitehead: The Postracial Voice of Contemporary Literature. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
- Maus, Derek C. Understanding Colson Whitehead. University of South Carolina Press, 2014.
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