Top of page

« Back to Authors page

Biography Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead
Photo credit: Chris Close

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has named Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels “The Nickel Boys” (Anchor) and “The Underground Railroad,” as the 2020 recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Whitehead, 50, is the youngest person to receive the Library’s fiction award for his lifetime of work. Whitehead’s seven novels include his first, “The Intuitionist” (1999), which Esquire magazine named the best first novel of the year. “The Underground Railroad” was on Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and was on President Barack Obama’s summer reading list. Of the recent “The Nickel Boys,” the Pulitzer judges noted its “spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.”

Selected Works at the Library of Congress

Appearances at the 2020 National Book Festival