Showing posts with label Colson Whitehead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colson Whitehead. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Colson Whitehead wins Pulitzer Prize for 'Underground Railroad'

The Underground Railroad, an inventive and searing take on slavery in 1850s Georgia, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction Monday, adding to author Colson Whitehead’s list of accolades and bolstering the case for the book to be included in the pantheon of Great American Novels.The novel mixes harsh reality — slavery in the antebellum South — with a vividly imagined alternative world, one in which the Underground Railroad is a literal subterranean network of tracks and stations.

Whitehead’s heroine is a headstrong teenage runaway slave named Cora, who escapes a brutal cotton plantation and tries to find her way to freedom.

The Pulitzer committee lauded Railroad "for 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 an interview with USA TODAY after learning he'd won the Pulitzer, Whitehead said: "My baseline happiness level has been pretty high the last 10 months."

He said when he wrote the first 100 pages of The Underground Railroad, he felt he was "firing on all cylinders." But he had no idea the novel would "have this kind of reception. I try to do the same old thing and hope it works out. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. This time it really did."


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Congressman John Lewis wins National Book Award

Congressman John Lewis can now add another accolade to his long and distinguished civil rights/political career. He has won a National Book Award.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) won the Young People’s Literature award with his co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell for “March: Book Three.” The widely celebrated graphic novel recounts Lewis’s experience during the civil rights movement.

Lewis told the ecstatic crowd, “Some of you know I grew up in rural Alabama — very, very poor with very few books in our home.” Forcing back tears, he recalled walking to a local public library with his siblings to get a library card and being turned away because the library was for whites only. [SOURCE]

Other winners were:

Colson Whithead: Fiction: “The Underground Railroad”

Ibram X. Kendi: Non Fiction: “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America”

Daniel Borzutzky Poetry: “The Performance of Becoming Human.”