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Colson Whitehead

Writer, 2017 and 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner

Whitehead is a writer and university professor. Born in New York in 1969, in his novels -which transgress the boundaries between literary and genre narrative- he allows himself fictional spaces to explore social injustices, systemic violence against African Americans in particular.

After graduating from Harvard, Whitehead worked at the New York weekly The Village Voice, where he wrote television, literature and music reviews. It was also during this period that he drafted his first works. He is the author of six novels and two books of essays, and since his literary debut with The Intuitionist (Knopf, 2000), his books have received prestigious prizes and awards in his country, such as the National Book Award and the Guggenheim Fellowship. He is also the first writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for two consecutive books: the historical novels The Underground Railroad (Anchor, 2016) and The Nickel Boys (Knopf, 2020). He has also published articles, reviews and fiction stories in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta, amongst others.

In his latest novel, Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday, 2021), he portrays the criminal underworld of this New York neighbourhood in the 1960s. He uses noir literature as a medium in this work, which is yet another piece in his construction of the meaning of servitude and segregation for the African-American population in the United States.

Update: 13 February 2023


Has participated in

Colson Whitehead

Harlem resonances

Talk with Colson Whitehead

We talk with the author of “The Underground Railroad: A Novel”, 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction