In the ballad, told countless times over more than a century, the railroad worker John Henry wins a race against a new steam-powered drill, but the victory is Pyrrhic: he collapses, saying “Give me a cool drink of water before I die.” “Did he win? Did he lose?,” wonders novelist Colson Whitehead ...
Writer Colson Whitehead was on the Lopate Show recently to discuss his latest novel, Zero One, and he told us what he's been reading recently.
Colson Whitehead talks about his new novel, Zone One, a wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel about zombies. A pandemic has devastated the planet, leaving behind the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are rebuilding civilization, focusing on resettling Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain.
Join Kurt Andersen for a night of comedy, music and storytelling, featuring novelist Colson Whitehead, raconteur Cintra Wilson, and musical comedian Tim Minchin, an Australian phenomenon about to break out in America.
Colson Whitehead has famously tackled topics like a young man's coming of age in "Sag Harbor," the social elevation of African Americans in "The Intuitionist," and America’s industrial age in "John Henry Days." In his new novel, the award-winning Whitehead goes just as large, maybe even larger, with a look at how an imaginary apocalypse might bring out the best and worst in humans and American culture. Also, Whitehead's apocalypse includes zombies. The title of the new book, which hits stores this week, is "Zone One."
Events: Colson Whitehead will be reading and signing books
Wednesday, April 29, at 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble, ...
Kurt Andersen talks with novelist Colson Whitehead about the power of names and why he wanted the hero of his book to be an expert in product branding. We’ll hear from a filmmaker whose colossal self-absorption is actually fun to watch on screen. And Kurt talks with a listener who was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s "Born to Run" to quit his job – and join the Army.