Colson Whitehead's Sag Harbor

Colson Whitehead may not be a household name, but in literary circles he’s already made quite a reputation for himself. In the space of four novels – and an extended essay on life in Manhattan – he has developed into one of our most exciting and vibrant young writers.

Whitehead’s Sag Harbor is only his fourth novel, but it has an impressive literary pedigree. His debut novel The Intuitionist immediately won the attention of critics (as well as a few prizes) when it was published in 1999, telling the story of elevator inspector Lila Mae Watson in a futuristic city that had more than a few echoes of Whitehead’s hometown New York. Having sometimes been interpreted as science fiction, it’s a bold debut that purposefully blurs the boundaries between genres to create a style of its own.

Sag Harbor sees Colson Whitehead continuing and developing his distinctive style. This may be his most personal book yet, as he tells the tale of a wealthy African-American teenager who spends the summer of 1985 on the beaches of Long Island. In particular the New York Times was swift to label it as one of the first explorations of African-American culture in the “post-black” era. (Read the full New York Times review of Sag Harbor here.)

Colson Whitehead will visit the Elliott Bay Book Company’s new store in Capitol Hill on Friday June 18, promoting the paperback release of Sag Harbor. The reading starts at 7pm. The event promises to draw a large crowd, and it yet again confirms the Elliott Bay Book Company as one of the Emerald City’s true gems. For further information please visit the Elliott Bay website.

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