“[Whitehead’s] writing does what writing should do; it refreshes our sense of the world… ” —John Updike
Colson Whitehead is one of America’s greatest young writers. His novels and essays tackle the questions of race, class, and commercial culture with candor and wit. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of several awards including the Whiting Writers’ Award and the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Esquire magazine has called him “the coolest writer in America” and more than 116,000 people follow him on Twitter.
Born in New York City in 1969, Colson graduated from Harvard College in 1991. After graduation he went to work as a popular culture critic for The Village Voice writing television, book and movie reviews. It was during this time that he honed his writing skills and began drafting his first novels. The Village Voice has since described Colson as “a scientist of metropolitan encounters.”
Colson is the author of six books. His first novel, The Intuitionist, was published in 1998 and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemmingway Award. According to Time it’s the “freshest racial allegory since Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” and GQ named it one of the “novels of he millennium.” John Henry Days, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was published in 2001 and his non-fiction homage to New York, The Colossus of New York, was published in 2003. His most recent novel Zone One was published in October 2011. The Washington Post described this latest bestseller as “a zombie story with brains” and The New York Times selected it as an Editor’s Pick calling it “cool” and “thoughtful.”
Colson’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a great many publications, such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s and Granta. He has spoken across the country and has taught courses at several universities including Columbia, Princeton and the University of Houston. He lives with his daughter in Brooklyn, New York.
An Afternoon / Evening with Colson Whitehead…No other author today tackles the questions of race, class and commercial culture with the same brand of candor and wit as Colson Whitehead. In this lecture get up close and personal with the man Esquire magazine called “the coolest writer in America.”
• “Wow, fiction works!” for Harper’s
• “The Way We Live Now: 11-11-01; Lost and Found” for The New York Times