This chapter shows how Colson Whitehead is consistently revealing how African American history and memory suffuse every corner of US identity. Whitehead’s extremely varied writing transcends genre and time, but it is always firmly rooted in the complexities and vicissitudes of race and national identity in the United States. While his work can be connected to other African American writers of his generation – say Toni Morrison or Percival Everett – Whitehead’s oeuvre is distinct. Born in New York City in 1969, Whitehead is a Harvard graduate, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, and winner of numerous prizes. In John Henry Days, Whitehead explored the ways in which the United States constructs its past(s). After the imaginative and metaphoric reach of Whitehead’s first novel, he published John Henry Days, a broad and ‘polyphonic novel that strives to capture the spirit of a nation’. Whitehead’s work fits both seamlessly and uneasily into the broader map of twenty-first-century fiction.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Companion to Twenty-First-Century Literary Fiction|
|Editors||Robert Eaglestone, Daniel O'Gorman|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Dec 2018|