colsonwhitehead-erinpatriceo-brien_sq-7c50afdaaa81e8021d312015cea780f25ff42465-s300-c85 In a less than celebratory moment in America, Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist, Sag Harbor) has won the National Book Award for his 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad which, in its announcement, the New York Times called “a hallucinatory novel about the horrors of American slavery and the sinister permutations of racism.” From the Times:

The novel, which became a best-seller and was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s book club, follows a young slave named Cora who escapes a Georgia plantation and, in a surreal twist, travels north via a literal underground subway.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Whitehead said he was drawing comfort in these politically fic-whitehead-the-underground-railroaduncertain times by focusing on the redeeming power of art.

“We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland,” he said, referring to President-elect Donald J. Trump. “Be kind to everybody, make art and fight the power.”

The full piece is here.

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