Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Colson Whitehead

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Harvard University


Colson Whitehead


Natasha Stovall

Colson Whitehead Colson Whitehead August 10 2015 KPFA

Fiction and Non-fiction

Notable works
The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Zone One

MacArthur Fellowship, Whiting Awards

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Zone One, The Intuitionist, Sag Harbor, The Noble Hustle: Poker - Be, John Henry Days

James McBride (writer), Spike Lee, Barbara Kingsolver


Colson whitehead 2009 national book festival

Colson Whitehead (born November 6, 1969) is an American novelist. He is the author of six novels, including his debut work, the 1999 novel The Intuitionist, and The Underground Railroad (2016), for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has also published two books of non-fiction. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship ("Genius Grant").


Colson Whitehead Colson Whitehead Literary Arts

Colson whitehead presents his novel zone one 29 04 2014 1

Early life

Colson Whitehead The Rumpus Interview With Colson Whitehead The Rumpusnet

Whitehead was born in New York City on November 6, 1969, and grew up in Manhattan. He attended Trinity in Manhattan. Whitehead graduated from Harvard University in 1991; in college he became friends with poet Kevin Young.


Colson Whitehead httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

After leaving college, Whitehead wrote for The Village Voice. While working at the Voice, he began drafting his first novels.

Colson Whitehead Zone One by Colson Whitehead review Books The Guardian

Whitehead has since produced seven book-length works—six novels and a meditation on life in Manhattan in the style of E.B. White's famous essay Here Is New York. The novels are 1999's The Intuitionist, 2001's John Henry Days, 2003's The Colossus of New York, 2006's Apex Hides the Hurt, 2009's Sag Harbor, 2011's Zone One, a New York Times Bestseller; and 2016's The Underground Railroad, which earned a National Book Award for Fiction. Esquire magazine named The Intuitionist the best first novel of the year, and GQ called it one of the "novels of the millennium." Novelist John Updike, reviewing The Intuitionist in The New Yorker, called Whitehead "ambitious," "scintillating," and "strikingly original," adding, "The young African-American writer to watch may well be a thirty-one-year-old Harvard graduate with the vivid name of Colson Whitehead."

Colson Whitehead Bates presents first Maine reading by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead's The Intuitionist was nominated as the Common Novel at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The Common Novel nomination was part of a long-time tradition at the Institute that included authors like Maya Angelou, Andre Dubus III, William Joseph Kennedy, and Anthony Swofford.

Whitehead's non-fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Granta, and Harper's.

His non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death was published by Doubleday in 2014.

He has taught at Princeton University, New York University, the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.

In the spring of 2015, he joined The New York Times Magazine to write a column on language.

His 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad, was a selection of Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and was also chosen by President Barack Obama as one of five books on his summer vacation reading list. In January 2017 it was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction at the American Library Association Mid-Winter conference in Atlanta, GA.


  • 2000 Whiting Award
  • 2002 MacArthur Fellowship
  • 2007 Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars Fellowship
  • 2012 Dos Passos Prize
  • 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2017 Humblebrag of the Day
  • For The Intuitionist

  • Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award
  • Finalist, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
  • For John Henry Days

  • Young Lions Fiction Award
  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
  • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize
  • Finalist, National Book Critics Circle
  • Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • For Apex Hides the Hurt

  • PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award
  • For Sag Harbor

  • Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
  • Finalist, Hurston-Wright Legacy Award
  • For Zone One

  • Finalist, Hurston-Wright Legacy Award
  • For The Underground Railroad

  • National Book Award for Fiction, 2016
  • Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, 2017
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2017
  • Booker Prize, 2017 - Longlist
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2017
  • Fiction

  • The Intuitionist (1999)
  • John Henry Days (2001)
  • Apex Hides the Hurt (2006)
  • Sag Harbor (2009)
  • Zone One (2011)
  • The Underground Railroad (2016)
  • Non-fiction

  • The Colossus of New York (2003)
  • The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death (2014)
  • Essays

  • "Lost and Found". The New York Times Magazine. November 11, 2001. 
  • "A Psychotronic Childhood". The New Yorker. June 4, 2012. 
  • "Hard Times in the Uncanny Valley". Grantland. ESPN. August 24, 2012. 
  • "Occasional Dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia". Grantland. ESPN. May 19, 2013. 
  • Short stories

  • "Down in Front". Granta (86: Film). Summer 2004.  (Subscription Required)
  • References

    Colson Whitehead Wikipedia