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After graduating from Harvard, Colson Whitehead began his writing career at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books and music. His first novel, “The Intuitionist,” concerned intrigue in New York’s Department of Elevator Inspectors and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His 2006 novel, “Apex Hides the Hurt,” is about a “nomenclature consultant,” who gets an assignment to name a town; it won a PEN/Oakland Award. “Sag Harbor” was a Pen/Faulkner Award finalist. His new novel is “The Underground Railroad” (Doubleday).