Posts Tagged: Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.”
Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the landscape of his novel, which presents us with several different Americas, including the diverse, literary America he was referring to....more
Whenever I finish a book and I get to the last day of writing the first draft and I only have two pages to go, I put on Purple Rain and Daydream Nation. That’s my ritual. Whenever I put those albums on back to back, I know I’m in the home stretch.
Not a one of these is a “beach read,” though I read many of them on the beach. Every one of these novels and short story collections transported me deeper into myself. Every one of these books excited me and made me hungry to live more, love more, think more, feel more, give more....more
Colson Whitehead’s new novel, The Underground Railroad, was announced as an Oprah’s Book Club selection on the day of its release. Speaking to Michelle Dean in the Guardian, Whitehead discusses his reaction to the news:
“I called her back and she said: ‘Oprah.’ I said: ‘Shut the front door,’ because I didn’t want to curse.
In a world where the selfie has become our dominant art form, tautological phrases like “You do you” and its tribe provide a philosophical scaffolding for our ever-evolving, ever more complicated narcissism.
Rob Crawford, Sabra Embury, Hannah Assadi, Genna Rivieccio, Amanda Killian, Armando Jaramillo Garcia, Stu Watson, and Daniel Adler celebrate opiates....more
For the New York Times Magazine, Colson Whitehead traces the conception of the “loser edit,” and how it awaits us all. Fifteen years after the emergence of shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race, “the critical language used to carve up the phonies, saints and sad-sack wannabes of [these] reality shows has migrated, and the loser edit has become a limber metaphor for exploring our own real-world failures.”...more
Saturday 11/8: Brooklyn Comic Arts Festival. Mt. Carmel Church, 11 a.m., free.
Elizabeth Lopeman reads Trans Europe Express (November 2014) about an American au pair considering abandoning her host family. BookCourt, 4 p.m., free.
Peter Friedman, Rachel Nelson, Tommy Pico, Blythe Roberson, and Valerie Hsiung read at the What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been....more
After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what?
We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?
In his By the Book interview at the New York Times, Colson Whitehead claims he doesn’t know the name of his all-time favorite novelist:
…because they never wrote anything. They had no inkling they had a knack for writing, so instead channeled that talent into being really nice to family, friends and strangers.
A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star, right? Well that’s what New York Times book reviewer Glen Duncan thinks.
In his Sunday Book Review of Colson Whitehead’s complex new zombie novel, Zone One, Duncan sets the parallel between dating porn stars and what he initially perceives as slumming in genre fiction, and lets the rest of the review ride on the back of this comparison....more
“It started with a dream. I had houseguests and I heard them in the living room making breakfast one morning. I went back to sleep and dreamt that I wanted to go into the living room, but I wondered if they’d cleaned out all the zombies yet....more
More and more “serious” “literary” writers are turning to zombies, werewolves, and vampires for inspiration. This could be symptomatic of something dire or something hopeful in the world of writing. We could dither endlessly about the ramifications.
But perhaps we need to stop abstractly generalizing and focus on specifics instead....more
This week in New York, BookExpo America (BEA) kicks off, and this year with a new feature: New York Book Week–events that are open to the public. Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) discusses and serves up cocktails, Timothy Donnelly and Matthew Rohrer read, Melissa Auf der Maur performs, Al Maysles and DA Pennebaker talk documentaries, Edward Koren talks about the art of humor with Jules Feiffer, and Matthey Barney’s Cremaster Cycle gets a full run at the IFC Center....more