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John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

Title John Henry Days
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2001
Category Fiction
Total Pages 389
ISBN 9780385498203
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

On assignment for a travel Web site, J. Sutter, a young African-American freelance journalist, heads for West Virginia to cover the "John Henry Days" festival in honor of the new U.S. postage stamp honoring John Henry and discovers the real-life story of John Henry and its relevance to his own life and times. By the author of The Intuitionist. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

Title John Henry Days
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2009-06-03
Category Fiction
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9780307486677
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys Colson Whitehead’s triumphant novel is on one level a multifaceted retelling of the story of John Henry, the black steel-driver who died outracing a machine designed to replace him. On another level it’s the story of a disaffected, middle-aged black journalist on a mission to set a record for junketeering who attends the annual John Henry Days festival. It is also a high-velocity thrill ride through the tunnel where American legend gives way to American pop culture, replete with p. r. flacks, stamp collectors, blues men , and turn-of-the-century song pluggers. John Henry Days is an acrobatic, intellectually dazzling, and laugh-out-loud funny book that will be read and talked about for years to come. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

Title John Henry Days
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2002
Category African American journalists
Total Pages 389
ISBN 1841155705
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the author of "The Intuitionist" comes a retelling of the legend of John Henry that sweeps across generations and cultures in a stunning, hilarious, and unsettling portrait of American society.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Title The Intuitionist
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2012-05-23
Category Fiction
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780307819963
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This debut novel by the two time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut of an important American writer. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it. There are two warring factions within the department: the Empiricists, who work by the book and dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects. Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues. It's an election year in the Elevator Guild, and the good-old-boy Empiricists would love nothing more than to assign the blame to an Intuitionist. But Lila Mae is never wrong. The sudden appearance of excerpts from the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, has also caused quite a stir. The notebooks describe Fulton's work on the "black box," a perfect elevator that could reinvent the city as radically as the first passenger elevator did when patented by Elisha Otis in the nineteenth century. When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

Apex Hides The Hurt by Colson Whitehead

Title Apex Hides the Hurt
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2007-01-09
Category Fiction
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780307279781
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This New York Times Notable Book from the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys 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. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

Steel Drivin Man by Scott Reynolds Nelson

Title Steel Drivin Man
Author Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2008-08
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 214
ISBN 9780195341195
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The story of John Henry, the mighty railroad man who has become a towering figure in American culture, is told in this portrait of the most recorded folk song in American history.

Margreete S Harbor by Eleanor Morse

Title Margreete s Harbor
Author Eleanor Morse
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2021-04-20
Category Fiction
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781250271556
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home. Eleanor Morse's Margreete’s Harbor begins with a fire: a fiercely-independent, thrice-widowed woman living on her own in a rambling house near the Maine coast forgets a hot pan on the stovetop, and nearly burns her place down. When Margreete Bright calls her daughter Liddie to confess, Liddie realizes that her mother can no longer live alone. She, her husband Harry, and their children Eva and Bernie move from a settled life in Michigan across the country to Margreete’s isolated home, and begin a new life. Margreete’s Harbor tells the story of ten years in the history of a family: a novel of small moments, intimate betrayals, arrivals and disappearances that coincide with America during the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s. Liddie, a professional cellist, struggles to find space for her music in a marriage that increasingly confines her; Harry’s critical approach to the growing war in Vietnam endangers his new position as a high school history teacher; Bernie and Eva begin to find their own identities as young adults; and Margreete slowly descends into a private world of memories, even as she comes to find a larger purpose in them. This beautiful novel—attuned to the seasons of nature, the internal dynamics of a family, and a nation torn by its contradicting ideals—reveals the largest meanings in the smallest and most secret moments of life. Readers of Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Anne Tyler will find themselves at home in Margreete’s Harbor.

The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead

Title The Noble Hustle
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor Books
Release Date 2015
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 234
ISBN 9780345804334
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 2011, Grantland magazine gave novelist Coloson Whitehaead $10,000 to play at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Whitehead brilliantly details his progress, both literal and existential, through the event's antes and turns, through its gritty moments of calculation, hope, and spectacle. -- back cover.

The Colossus Of New York by Colson Whitehead

Title The Colossus of New York
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2007-12-18
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 176
ISBN 9780307428288
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In a dazzlingly original work of nonfiction, the two time Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys 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. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

Title John Henry Days
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2005
Category
Total Pages 525
ISBN 3453401239
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Title Understanding Colson Whitehead
Author Derek C. Maus
Publisher Univ of South Carolina Press
Release Date 2021-04-07
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 172
ISBN 9781643361758
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 2020 Colson Whitehead became the youngest recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Although Whitehead's widely divergent books complicate overarching categorization, Derek C. Maus argues that they are linked by their skepticism toward the ostensible wisdom inherited from past generations and the various forms of "stories" that transmit it. Whitehead, best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Underground Railroad, bids readers to accompany him on challenging, often open-ended literary excursions designed to reexamine—and frequently defy—accepted notions of truth. Understanding Colson Whitehead unravels the parallel structures found within Whitehead's books from his 1999 debut The Intuitionist through 2019's The Nickel Boys, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. By first imitating and then violating their conventions, Whitehead attempts to transcend the limits of the formulas of the genres in which he seems to write. Whitehead similarly tests subject matter, again imitating and then satirizing various forms of conventional wisdom as a means of calling out unexamined, ignored, or malevolent aspects of American culture. Although it is only one of many subjects that Whitehead addresses, race is often central to his work. It serves as a prime example of Whitehead's attempt to prompt his readers into revisiting their assumptions about meanings and values. By upending the literary formulas of the detective novel, the heroic folktale, the coming-of-age story, the zombie apocalypse, the slave narrative, and historical fiction, Whitehead reveals the flaws and shortcomings by which Americans have defined themselves. In addition to evoking such explicitly literary storytelling traditions, Whitehead also directs attention toward other interrelated historical and cultural processes that influence how race, class, gender, education, social status, and other categories of identity determine what an individual supposedly can and cannot do.

Title The Underground Railroad Television Tie In
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor Books
Release Date 2021-05-04
Category Fiction
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780593314760
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning, National Book Award-winning, Oprah-anointed, #1 New York Times bestselling novel that explores America's troubled racial past as only he can--soon to be an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins. Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage and a powerful meditation on the history we all share. Look for Colson Whitehead's new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

Title Sag Harbor
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2009-04-28
Category Fiction
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780385529396
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys: a tender, hilarious, and supremely original novel about coming-of-age in the 80s. Benji Cooper is one of the few black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. But every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own. The summer of ’85 won’t be without its usual trials and tribulations, of course. There will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through and state-of-the-art profanity to master. Benji will be tested by contests big and small, by his misshapen haircut (which seems to have a will of its own), by the New Coke Tragedy, and by his secret Lite FM addiction. But maybe, just maybe, this summer might be one for the ages. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

John Henry by Ezra Jack Keats

Title John Henry
Author Ezra Jack Keats
Publisher Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date 2014-12-23
Category Juvenile Fiction
Total Pages 32
ISBN 0553513087
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this Caldecott Medal winner's vibrant retelling of the popular African-American folk ballad. By creator of The Snowy Day, which won the 1963 Caldecott Medal. Simultaneous eBook.

Title Ain t Nothing But a Man My Quest to Find the Real John Henry Large Print 16pt
Author Marc Aronson
Publisher ReadHowYouWant
Release Date 2014-02-01
Category Juvenile Nonfiction
Total Pages 170
ISBN 1459676106
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Who was the real John Henry? The story of this legendary African - American figure has come down to us in so many songs, stories, and plays, that the facts are often lost. Historian Scott Nelson brings John Henry alive for young readers in his personal quest for the ''''true story'''' of the man behind the myth. Nelson presents the famous folk song as a mystery to be unraveled, identifying the embedded clues within the lyrics, which he examines to uncover many surprising truths. He investigates the legend and reveals the real John Henry in this beautifully illustrated book. Nelson's narrative is multilayered, interweaving the story of the building of the railroads, the period of Reconstruction, folk tales, American mythology, and an exploration of the tradition of work songs and their evolution into blues and rock and roll. This is also the story of the author's search for the flesh - and - blood man who became an American folk hero; Nelson gives a first - person account of how the historian works, showing history as a process of discovery. Readers rediscover an African - American folk hero. We meet John Henry, the man who worked for the railroad, driving steel spikes. When the railroad threatens to replace workers with a steam - powered hammer, John Henry bets that he can drive the beams into the ground faster than the machine. He wins the contest, but dies in the effort. Nelson's vibrant text, combined with archival images, brings a new perspective and focus to the life and times of this American legend.

Hear My Sad Story by Richard Polenberg

Title Hear My Sad Story
Author Richard Polenberg
Publisher Cornell University Press
Release Date 2015-12-07
Category Music
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781501701481
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 2015, Bob Dylan said, "I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. And I played them, and I met other people that played them, back when nobody was doing it. Sang nothing but these folk songs, and they gave me the code for everything that's fair game, that everything belongs to everyone." In Hear My Sad Story, Richard Polenberg describes the historical events that led to the writing of many famous American folk songs that served as touchstones for generations of American musicians, lyricists, and folklorists. Those events, which took place from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, often involved tragic occurrences: murders, sometimes resulting from love affairs gone wrong; desperate acts borne out of poverty and unbearable working conditions; and calamities such as railroad crashes, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. All of Polenberg’s account of the songs in the book are grounded in historical fact and illuminate the social history of the times. Reading these tales of sorrow, misfortune, and regret puts us in touch with the dark but terribly familiar side of American history. On Christmas 1895 in St. Louis, an African American man named Lee Shelton, whose nickname was "Stack Lee," shot and killed William Lyons in a dispute over seventy-five cents and a hat. Shelton was sent to prison until 1911, committed another murder upon his release, and died in a prison hospital in 1912. Even during his lifetime, songs were being written about Shelton, and eventually 450 versions of his story would be recorded. As the song—you may know Shelton as Stagolee or Stagger Lee—was shared and adapted, the emotions of the time were preserved, but the fact that the songs described real people, real lives, often fell by the wayside. Polenberg returns us to the men and women who, in song, became legends. The lyrics serve as valuable historical sources, providing important information about what had happened, why, and what it all meant. More important, they reflect the character of American life and the pathos elicited by the musical memory of these common and troubled lives.

Fear On Trial by John Henry Faulk

Title Fear on Trial
Author John Henry Faulk
Publisher University of Texas Press
Release Date 2010-06-28
Category History
Total Pages 278
ISBN 9780292789258
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

John Henry Faulk was a popular radio and television personality during the McCarthy era. He was host of his own radio program on WCBS in New York when he publicly challenged AWARE, Inc., an ultrapatriotic group engaged in the systematic blacklisting of entertainment personalities. In response, an AWARE bulletin accused Faulk himself of subversive associations. Angry and frightened by this accusation, Faulk brought suit against AWARE, charging conspiracy to libel him and to destroy his career. Thus began one of the great civil rights cases of this century. John Henry Faulk recounts the story of this harrowing time in Fear on Trial, the dramatic account of his six years on the "blacklist"—an exile that began with the AWARE bulletin and ended with his vindication by a jury award of $3,500,000—the largest libel award in U.S. history at that time. The heart of the book is the trial of Faulk's libel action against AWARE, in which attorney Louis Nizer relentlessly exposed the blacklist for what it was—a cynical disdain of elementary decency couched in the rhetoric of patriotism. Many of the people involved in the Faulk case were and are famous: attorneys Nizer and Roy Cohn; Edward R. Murrow and Charles Collingwood; Myrna Loy, Kim Hunter, Tony Randall, and Lee Grant; J. Frank Dobie; Ed Sullivan, David Susskind, and Mark Goodson. But the hero is Faulk himself, a man who—in the words of Studs Terkel—"faced the bastards and beat them down."

John Henry by Julius Lester

Title John Henry
Author Julius Lester
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 1999
Category Juvenile Fiction
Total Pages 40
ISBN 9780140566222
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Title Middlesex
Author Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher Vintage Canada
Release Date 2011-07-18
Category Fiction
Total Pages 544
ISBN 9780307401946
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides’ witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy. But there’s a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set our narrator’s life in motion. Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It’s a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Title Zone One
Author Colson Whitehead
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2011-10-18
Category Fiction
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780385535014
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. After the worst of the plague is over, armed forces stationed in Chinatown’s Fort Wonton have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One. Mark Spitz is a member of one of the three-person civilian sweeper units tasked with clearing lower Manhattan of the remaining feral zombies. Zone One unfolds over three surreal days in which Spitz is occupied with the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder (PASD), and the impossible task of coming to terms with a fallen world. And then things start to go terribly wrong… At once a chilling horror story and a literary novel by a contemporary master, Zone One is a dazzling portrait of modern civilization in all its wretched, shambling glory. Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!