The Nickel Boys

September 27, 2019

The Athenæum is thrilled to welcome acclaimed author Colson Whitehead to Providence! Please note only the question & answer portion of this program was recorded for distribution.

Named “a genuine literary phenomenon” by The New York Times, he recently was the first author in almost a decade to appear on the cover of Time. His 2016 novel The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. His newest novel The Nickel Boys has topped bestseller lists since its publication last month, and to universal acclaim. Ron Charles of The Washington Post describes the book as “in conversation with works by James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and especially Martin Luther King… It shreds our easy confidence in the triumph of goodness and leaves in its place a hard and bitter truth about the ongoing American experiment.”


Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. He was named New York’s 11th State Author in 2018.

Colson Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s and Granta.

He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, A Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and W+riters, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for John Henry Days.

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

He lives in New York City.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: Featured, Literature & Poetry