John Henry Days
First edition cover
|Genre||Historical fiction, Novel|
|Publisher||Doubleday (HB) & Anchor Books (PB)|
|May 15, 2001|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||400 pp (hardback edition)|
|Preceded by||The Intuitionist|
|Followed by||The Colossus of New York|
John Henry Days is a 2001 novel by American author Colson Whitehead. This is his second full-size work.
Building the railways that made America, John Henry died with a hammer in his hand moments after competing against a steam drill in a battle of endurance. The story of his death made him a legend. Over a century later, freelance journalist J. Sutter is sent to West Virginia to cover the launch of a new postage stamp at the first John Henry Days festival.
Maya Jaggi, writing for The Guardian, praised John Henry Days, writing that it is "propelled by the quality of the writing and observation which, together with his serious intent, elevate it above frothier social satire." Writing in The New York Times, novelist Jonathan Franzen likened the novel to Ulysses and Moby-Dick in its "encyclopedic aspirations", but added: "John Henry Days is funny and wise and sumptuously written, but it's only rarely a page turner."
- Shortlisted for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
- 2002 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for Honor Books
- Shortlisted for National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
- Shortlisted for Los Angeles Times Book Prize
- Maya Jaggi (2001) "Railroad blues" John Henry Days review, The Guardian. Published 23 June, 2001. Archived from here on 28 November, 2017.
- Jonathan Franzen (2001) "Freeloading Man" John Henry Days review, The New York Times. Published 13 May, 2001. Archived from here on 28 November, 2017.
- "2002 Pulitzer Prizes" Pulitzer Prizes official website. Accessed 23 November 2016.
- List of past winners at the ALA Black Caucus site Archived 2006-04-26 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
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