The Underground Railroad

By Colson Whitehead
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey--hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.



    REVIEW QUOTES
Kept me up at night, had my heart in my throat, almost afraid to turn the next page. Get it, then get another copy for someone you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about it once you read that heart-stopping last page. --Oprah Winfrey (Oprah's Book Club 2016 Selection) [A] potent, almost hallucinatory novel... It possesses the chilling matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison s Beloved, Victor Hugo s Les Miserables, Ralph Ellison s Invisible Man, and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift He has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present. --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times [T]hinkToni Morrison(Beloved), Alex Haley(Roots); think12 Years a Slave [A]n electrifying novel a great adventure tale, teeming with memorable characters Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember. --People, (Book of the Week) "With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America's greatest authors--his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroadis an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction." --Michael Schaub, NPR Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year, The Underground Railroad marks a new triumph for Whitehead [A] book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era...The canon of essential novels about America's peculiar institution just grew by one. --Ron Charles, Washington Post"
#1New York TimesBestseller Get it, then get another copy for someone you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about it once you read that heart-stopping last page. --Oprah Winfrey (Oprah's Book Club 2016 Selection) [A] potent, almost hallucinatory novel... It possesses the chilling matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison s Beloved, Victor Hugo s Les Miserables, Ralph Ellison s Invisible Man, and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift He has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present. --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times [T]hinkToni Morrison(Beloved), Alex Haley(Roots); think12 Years a Slave [A]n electrifying novel a great adventure tale, teeming with memorable characters Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember. --People, (Book of the Week) "With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America's greatest authors--his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroadis an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction." --Michael Schaub, NPR Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year, The Underground Railroad marks a new triumph for Whitehead [A] book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era...The canon of essential novels about America's peculiar institution just grew by one. --Ron Charles, Washington Post"



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About the Hardcover

Publisher Doubleday Books
Publish date 08/02/2016
Pages 320
ISBN-13 9780385542364
ISBN-10 0385542364
Language English

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