Get Lit with All Of It: Colson Whitehead
Get Lit with All Of It
Originally Aired: Wednesday, July 29, 2020
L: Photo by Chris Close R: Photo courtesy of the host
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Watch a live video stream as Alison Stewart, host of WNYC’s All Of It, continues her virtual book club series with award-winning author Colson Whitehead. They’ll discuss his most recent novel, The Nickel Boys, described by the Pulitzer board of judges as “a 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.”
And don’t miss a special performance by composer and musician Jon Batiste, bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
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Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music. His first novel, The Intuitionist, concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. John Henry Days followed in 2001, an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The novel received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
Set in the 1960s, The Nickel Boys follows Elwood Curtis, a studious African American from Tallahassee with a sense of justice, who is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy after using in a stolen vehicle to attend university classes. When a friend, Jack Turner, hears of a plot to have Elwood killed by the administration, the two attempt an escape. Decades later, when an investigation reveals the now shuttered school’s secrets, Turner returns to Tallahassee to testify to his friend’s fate.
Credit: Photo by Rambo
Jon Batiste is an American virtuoso pianist, bandleader, composer, record producer, educator and actor. As a teenager, he began self-producing and releasing his music, as well as performing internationally with his band Stay Human. His major label debut “Hollywood Africans” was nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best American Roots Performance in 2019. Batiste is the bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and recently released the protest anthem We Are in response to Black Lives Matter.
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