Colson Whitehead biography

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Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead Biography

Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan.

After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music.

His first novel, The Intuitionist, concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award.

John Henry Days followed in 2001, an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The novel received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

The Colossus of New York is a book of essays about the city. It was published in 2003 and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Apex Hides the Hurt (2006) is a novel about a "nomenclature consultant" who gets an assignment to name a town, and was a recipient of the PEN/Oakland Award.

Sag Harbor, published in 2009, is a novel about teenagers hanging out in Sag Harbor, Long Island during the summer of 1985. It was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Zone One (2011), about post-apocalyptic New York City, was a New York Times bestseller.

The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death, a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker, appeared in 2014.

The Underground Railroad, a novel, was published in the summer of 2016. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, and was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

The Nickel Boys is a novel inspired by the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

His next novel, Harlem Shuffle was published in September 2021.

Colson Whitehead's reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta.

He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, A Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

In 2018, New York State named him their New York State Author, and in 2020 the Library of Congress awarded him their Prize for American Fiction.

He has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming. Apparently he can't keep a job.

He lives in New York City.

Colson Whitehead's website

This bio was last updated on 09/03/2021. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Books by Colson Whitehead at BookBrowse
Harlem Shuffle jacket The Nickel Boys jacket The Underground Railroad jacket The Noble Hustle jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Colson Whitehead but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Paul Beatty

    Paul Beatty

    Paul Beatty is the author of four novels—Slumberland, Tuff, The White Boy Shuffle and The Sellout (winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Man Booker Prize)—and two books of poetry: Big ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Underground Railroad

    Try:
    The Sellout
    by Paul Beatty

  • Jamel Brinkley

    Jamel Brinkley

    Jamel Brinkley's stories have appeared in A Public Space, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellow. He lives in Madison, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Underground Railroad

    Try:
    A Lucky Man
    by Jamel Brinkley

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