Through Colson Whitehead’s imagination, one woman’s attempt to escape the horrors of bondage becomes a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

In a Georgian cotton plantation, Cora hears rumours about the Underground Railroad and decides to escape on it to the North. In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. The narrative of Cora’s journey seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

The Man Booker Prize 2017
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Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

About the Author

Colson Whitehead has gradually worked through his three first names: as a child he went by his first name, Arch; then his second name, Chipp; and later by his current moniker Colson.
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