A talk with New York writer Colson Whitehead, author of six novels and several non-fiction works, who made his debut in 1999 with The Intuitionist and now presents his latest book, The Underground Railroad: A Novel (2016).
The Underground Railroad narrates the escape of a slave girl from a plantation and her journey through different states in the south of the United States on board an allegorical train that refers to the clandestine network that helped slaves escape during the 19th century.
With this tale about the violence of slavery and the drama of escape, he has revolutionised the American literary scene and has obtained, among others, the prestigious National Book Award 2016 and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017. The novel has become one of only five books that have achieved this double distinction. It has also merited him the unanimous recognition of the country’s independent bookstores, who have awarded him the Indies Choice Book Award 2017 for the adult fiction book of the year.