Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is a renowned American novelist and essayist. He is best known for his novels 'The Underground Railroad' and 'The Nickel Boys', both of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making him one of the few authors to receive the award twice. His work often explores themes of race, identity, and social structures.

Books

This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Underground Railroad

    This novel follows the journey of Cora, a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, who escapes and embarks on a journey towards freedom via the Underground Railroad. The book presents a literal version of the historical Underground Railroad, portraying it as a physical network of tunnels and tracks beneath the Southern soil. As Cora travels from state to state, she encounters different worlds and harsh realities, each one illuminating the various forms of oppression Black people faced in America. The narrative is a brutal exploration of America's history of slavery and racism, and a testament to the unyielding spirit of those who fought against it.

    The 1058th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Intuitionist: A Novel

    The novel is a blend of mystery and speculative fiction set in a parallel universe where elevator inspection is a high-stakes profession. The protagonist, the first black woman elevator inspector in a fictional city, is a member of the "Intuitionist" school of elevator inspection, which involves intuitive and psychic readings of elevators. When an elevator she inspects crashes, she is blamed for the incident and must delve into the political corruption and racial prejudice of her world to clear her name. Along the way, she discovers a mysterious notebook that may contain the secrets to perfecting elevators and changing her world forever.

    The 2351st Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Zone One

    The novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a pandemic has turned many people into zombies, or "skels." The protagonist is a survivor who is part of a team tasked with clearing out the remaining skels in Zone One, the area in and around lower Manhattan. The story alternates between the present and the past, revealing the protagonist's experiences during the initial outbreak and his struggle to hold onto his humanity in the face of such devastation.

    The 6227th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Nickel Boys

    Set in the 1960s, this book follows the story of two African-American boys, Elwood and Turner, who are sent to a brutal reform school, the Nickel Academy, in Florida. The narrative explores their struggle to maintain their humanity in the face of physical and emotional abuse, systemic racism, and injustice. The book is a searing indictment of the horrific realities of racism and the long-lasting effects of trauma and dehumanization, based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children.

    The 10523rd Greatest Book of All Time