Colson Whitehead - The Intuitionist - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780708898482
    • Publication date:04 May 2017

The Intuitionist

By Colson Whitehead

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The marvellously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected debut novel from the author of The Underground Railroad.

Verticality, architectural and social, is at the heart of Colson Whitehead's first novel that takes place in an unnamed high-rise city that combines twenty-first-century engineering feats with nineteenth-century pork-barrel politics. Elevators are the technological expression of the vertical ideal, and Lila Mae Watson, the city's first black female elevator inspector, is its embattled token of upward mobility.When Number Eleven of the newly completed Fanny Briggs Memorial Building goes into deadly free-fall just hours after Lila Mae has signed off on it, using the controversial 'Intuitionist' method of ascertaining elevator safety, both Intuitionists and Empiricists recognize the set-up, but may be willing to let Lila Mae take the fall in an election year.
As Lila Mae strives to exonerate herself in this urgent adventure full of government spies, underworld hit men, and seductive double agents, behind the action, always, is the Idea. Lila Mae's quest is mysteriously entwined with existence of heretofore lost writings by James Fulton, father of Intuitionism, a giant of vertical thought. If she is able to find and reveal his plan for the perfect, next-generation elevator, the city as it now exists may instantly become obsolescent.

Biographical Notes

Colson Whitehead is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, 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. A Pulitzer Prize winner and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780708898475
  • Publication date: 04 May 2017
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: Fleet
The freshest racial allegory since Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye — Walter Kirn, Time
Ingenious and starkly original . . . Literary reputations may not always rise and fall as predictably as elevators, bit if there's any justice in the world of fiction, Colson Whitehead's should be heading toward the upper floors — New York Times Book Review
Magical . . . The Intuitionist ranks alongside Catch-22, V, The Bluest Eye and other groundbreaking first novels . . . Whitehead shares Heller's sense of the absurd, Pynchon's operatic expansiveness and Morrison's deconstruction of race and racism — San Francisco Chronicle
Whitehead's prose is graceful and often lyrical, and his elevator underworld is a complex, lovingly realized creation — New Yorker
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Colson Whitehead
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The Nickel Boys is Colson Whitehead's follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning bestseller The Underground Railroad, in which he dramatizes another strand of United States history, this time through the story of two boys sentenced to a stretch in a hellish reform school in Jim-Crow-era Florida.Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide 'physical, intellectual and moral training' which will equip its inmates to become 'honorable and honest men'.In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back'. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King's ringing assertion, 'Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.' But Elwood's fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.The tension between Elwood's idealism and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

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At the age of eighty-five my grandfather Napoleon decided he needed to try something new . . . Everything starts to go south when Napoleon leaves his wife. An eighty-five-year-old former boxer with a restless, youthful spirit, Napoleon decides to say to hell with it all! He wants a new life. With his ten-year-old grandson Leonard Sunshine, he embarks on a moving adventure, a rebellion against everything that takes the fun out of life. Above all, Leonard is determined to spare his grandfather the fate of the elderly - his final years spent exiled in a retirement home. The chaotic duo adopt a dog, drive a fake taxi, escape to the seaside, sabotage door-to-door salesmen and plot to kidnap a famous radio star. From the heart of Paris to the coast of Normandy, The Last Adventure of Napoleon Sunshine is a moving, life-affirming and melancholy tale of new beginnings and the importance of family.

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Apex Hides the Hurt

Colson Whitehead
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This New York Times Notable Book from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad is a brisk, comic tour de force about identity, history, and the adhesive bandage industry.The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. The resident software millionaire wants to call it New Prospera; the mayor wants to return to the original choice of the founding black settlers; and the town's aristocracy sees no reason to change the name at all. What they need, they realize, is a nomenclature consultant. And, it turns out, the consultant needs them. But in a culture overwhelmed by marketing, the name is everything and our hero's efforts may result in not just a new name for the town but a new and subtler truth about it as well.

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The Colossus of New York

Colson Whitehead
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In a dazzlingly original work of non-fiction, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad recreates the exuberance, the chaos, the promise, and the heartbreak of New York. Here is a literary love song that will entrance anyone who has lived in - or spent time - in the greatest of American cities.A masterful evocation of the city that never sleeps, The Colossus of New York captures the city's inner and outer landscapes in a series of vignettes, meditations, and personal memories. Colson Whitehead conveys with almost uncanny immediacy the feelings and thoughts of longtime residents and of newcomers who dream of making it their home; of those who have conquered its challenges; and of those who struggle against its cruelties. Whitehead's style is as multilayered and multifarious as New York itself: Switching from third person, to first person, to second person, he weaves individual voices into a jazzy musical composition that perfectly reflects the way we experience the city. There is a funny, knowing riff on what it feels like to arrive in New York for the first time; a lyrical meditation on how the city is transformed by an unexpected rain shower; and a wry look at the ferocious battle that is commuting. The plaintive notes of the lonely and dispossessed resound in one passage, while another captures those magical moments when the city seems to be talking directly to you, inviting you to become one with its rhythms. The Colossus of New York is a remarkable portrait of life in the big city. Ambitious in scope, gemlike in its details, it is at once an unparalleled tribute to New York and the ideal introduction to one of the most exciting writers working today.

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Colson Whitehead
Authors:
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2017LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER 2016AMAZON.COM #1 BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Whitehead is on a roll: the reviews have been sublime' Guardian'Luminous, furious, wildly inventive' Observer'Hands down one of the best, if not the best, book I've read this year' Stylist 'Dazzling' New York Review of BooksPraised by Barack Obama and an Oprah Book Club Pick, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017.Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.In Whitehead's razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, 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. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates 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 the story of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

Anja de Jager

Anja de Jager is a London-based native Dutch speaker who writes in English. She draws inspiration from cases that her father, a retired police detective, worked on in the Netherlands. Anja worked in the City for twenty years but is now a full-time writer. She is currently working on the next Lotte Meerman novel.

Bianca Zander

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