Skip to main content

Colson Whitehead

Writer, 2017 and 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner

Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, grew up in Manhattan and lives in New York.

He is a writer and a university lecturer. After graduating from Harvard, he started to write television, literature and music criticism in The Village Voice. It was while he was working for this digital magazine that he drafted his first works. He is the author of six novels and two essays and, since his literary debut with The Intuitionist (1999), his books have received numerous awards and accolades in his country. In 2020, he has won his second Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Nickel Boys (2019).

His latest novel, The Underground Railroad: A Novel (Doubleday, 2016), 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. 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.

His articles, reviews and writings have appeared in numerous publications such as The New York Times and the magazines The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s and Granta.

Update: 5 May 2020


Has participated in

Talk with Colson Whitehead

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