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The Underground Railroad: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


When I say I’m in love with this book, I mean that Colson Whitehead has wrung more emotion from me than I had thought possible to give. Cora, a slave born and raised on a plantation in Georgia, runs away to find freedom following the path so many have taken: the Underground Railroad. Here the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad, built by the slaves seeking a new life and the free men and women who have the strength and courage to risk their lives helping others. Cora’s journey is anything but straightforward, with many twists and turns, her every step dogged by the slave catcher set to retrieve her. The writing is extraordinary, lines jumping off the page with weight and significance, settling inside you to be digested slowly and sometimes painfully. The meaning of true freedom is tested, and the conception of our American heritage torn open to be examined in the harsh light of day. Cora’s story is magnificent not only for her unique strength, but Whitehead weaves her into the whole of history, unfolding the power of shared experience. The journey is heart-breaking, inspiring and reveals what the human race is capable of, for good and for evil. Nothing is held back, and you will certainly leave this book changed.

— Jax

When I say I’m in love with this book, I mean that Colson Whitehead has wrung more emotion from me than I had thought possible to give. Cora, a slave born and raised on a plantation in Georgia, runs away to find freedom following the path so many have taken: the Underground Railroad. Here the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad, built by the slaves seeking a new life and the free men and women who have the strength and courage to risk their lives helping others. Cora’s journey is anything but straightforward, with many twists and turns, her every step dogged by the slave catcher set to retrieve her. The writing is extraordinary, lines jumping off the page with weight and significance, settling inside you to be digested slowly and sometimes painfully. The meaning of true freedom is tested, and the conception of our American heritage torn open to be examined in the harsh light of day. Cora’s story is magnificent not only for her unique strength, but Whitehead weaves her into the whole of history, unfolding the power of shared experience. The journey is heart-breaking, inspiring and reveals what the human race is capable of, for good and for evil. Nothing is held back, and you will certainly leave this book changed.

— Jax

See a full search result for colson Whitehead books here.

— From BLACK VOICES

Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List


“In The Underground Railroad, Whitehead captures the quotidian horror of slavery in a way that I’ve never read. The banality of evil is on full display—but so is the human spirit. Cora’s escape and life on the run is both terrifyingly real and uncomfortably familiar. The way the author plays fast and loose with time and elements of magical realism, such as making the Underground Railroad a literal thing, gives this story an otherworldly quality. This may be Colson Whitehead’s masterpiece.”
— James Wilson, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

Description


In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

In Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Look for Whitehead’s acclaimed new novel, The Nickel Boys, available now!

About the Author


Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, which in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as The Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…


“Terrific.” —Barack Obama
 
“An American masterpiece.” —NPR
 
“Stunningly daring.” —The New York Times Book Review

"A triumph." —The Washington Post 

“Potent. . . .  Devastating. . . . Essential.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Whitehead's best work and an important American novel.” —The Boston Globe

“Electrifying. . . . Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember.” —People

“Heart-stopping.” —Oprah Winfrey

“The Underground Railroad is inquiring into the very soul of American democracy. . . . A stirring exploration of theAmerican experiment.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A brilliant reimagining of antebellum America.”—The New Republic

“Colson Whitehead’s book blends the fanciful and the horrific, the deeply emotional and the coolly intellectual. Whathe comes up with is an American masterpiece.”—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

The Underground Railroad enters the pantheon of . . . the Great American Novels. . . . A wonderful reminder of whatgreat literature is supposed to do: open our eyes, challengeus, and leave us changed by the end.” —Esquire

“[Whitehead] is the best living American novelist.”—Chicago Tribune

“Masterful, urgent. . . . One of the finest novels written aboutour country’s still unabsolved original sin.” —USA Today

“Brilliant. . . . An instant classic that makes vivid the darkest, most horrific corners of America’s history of brutality against black people.” —HuffPost

“Singular, utterly riveting. . . . You’ll be shaken and stunned by Whitehead’s imaginative brilliance. . . . The Underground Railroad is a book both timeless and timely. It is a book for now; it is a book that is necessary.” —BuzzFeed

“Whitehead is a writer of extraordinary stylistic powers. . . . [The Underground Railroad] offers many testaments to Whitehead’s considerable talents and examines a deeply relevant and disturbing period of American history.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“[An] ingenious novel. . . . A successful amalgam: a realistically imagined slave narrative and a crafty allegory; a tense adventure tale and a meditation on America’s defining values.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Whitehead’s novel unflinchingly turns our attention to the foundations of the America we know now.” —Elle

“Perfectly balances the realism of its subject with fabulist touches that render it freshly illuminating.” —Time

“I haven’t been as simultaneously moved and entertained bya book for many years. This is a luminous, furious, wildly inventive tale that not only shines a bright light on one of the darkest periods of history, but also opens up thrilling new vistas for the form of the novel itself.”—Alex Preston, The Guardian


Product Details
ISBN: 9780345804327
ISBN-10: 0345804325
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Pages: 336
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 8/12/2017 06:25pm
Last Updated At: 10/26/2020 02:31pm