Colson Whitehead’s new book, Zone One comes out tomorrow. The world has been overtaken by that cultural virus of the moment, zombies , and the zone in question is Lower Manhattan. It is the job of the protagonist to clear the area of the dead and undead, and many metaphors are obviously implicit: 9/11, the financial crisis, Occupy Wall Street.
But it turns out that Mr. Whitehead’s biggest concern appears to be gentrification, as the native New Yorker revealed in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition today.
off the record
Today Grantland began selling Grantland Quarterly, a print anthology of the best reads from the sports and culture site so far. It is edited by Bill Simmons and Dan Fierman.
ESPN and Grantland have contracted McSweeney’s to handle the production and distribution (which, in retrospect, explains why Dave Eggers is a Grantland contributing editor).
Yesterday a Kickstarter announced the arrival of The Classical, yet another daily web publication dedicated to the burgeoning world of alternative sportswriting. This one is the brainchild of a cerebral fraternity of sports and culture bros, including Bloomsbury editor (and rumored pub-trivia powerhouse) Pete Beatty, Pitchfork and Village Voice vet Tom Breihan, Yahoo! Read More
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced the nominees for its fiction award today–Sherman Alexie’s War Dances, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna, and Lorraine Lopez’s Homicide Survivor’s Picnic, Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs, and Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor.
“I’m delighted by how richly American these books are,” said judge Rilla Askew in a statement. Read More
By Colson Whitehead
Doubleday, 273 pp., $24.95
On this past January’s third Tuesday, Barack H. Obama was sworn in as president of the United States. On its fourth Tuesday, John H. Updike died at the age of 76.
I have no doubt the old man savored the gravity and relief of life Read More
Colson Whitehead has published a satirical bit of literary criticism called "Wow, fiction works!" in the ‘Readings’ section of February’s Harper’s. Written in the form of a lecture read to a group of aspiring writers by a corny, simple-minded hack, the piece is a send-up of The New Yorker’s Read More
The first of many erotic insertions (this particular act was illegal in several states until just last year) occurs on page six. Just a page and a half later comes the first of many existential pangs, this one provoked by a diorama at the Museum of Natural History:
“The wolves running in the night were Read More
The 92nd Street Y’s “Writing New York” reading on Jan. 5 should have been a placid affair. Three authors, all of whom live in and write about the city, were to read from their current work: Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead and the mustachioed Edgardo Vega Yunqué. Mr. Lethem, who won the National Book Critics Circle Read More
Up in the Air , by Walter Kirn. Doubleday, 303 pages, $23.95.
John Henry Days , by Colson Whitehead. Doubleday, 389 pages, $24.95.
Here’s a curious case of literary overlap: Walter Kirn’s new novel, Up in the Air , is about a man obsessed with amassing one million frequent-flyer miles. Meanwhile, in Colson Whitehead’s Read More