Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction
Colson Whitehead’s eagerly awaited and triumphantly acclaimed new 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.
“A narrative tour de force that astonishes on almost every page.”—Time
“Does what writing should do; it refreshes our sense of the world. . . . An ambitious, finely chiseled work.”—John Updike, The New Yorker
“John Henry Days is funny and wise and sumptuously written...compelling.”—Jonathan Franzen, The New York Times Book Review
“[Whitehead] takes on a multitude of issues with a rich and probing imaginationÉ.His reputation is likely to soar.” —Ishmael Reed, The Washington Post Book World
“A feast for famished readers.”—Newsweek
WINNER 2002 - Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist, was one of the most highly praised and award-winning first novel of all time. Whitehead lives in Brooklyn, New York.