“Early on my career, I figured out that I just have to write the book I have to write at that moment. Whatever else is going on in the culture is just not that important. If you could get the culture to write your book, that would be great. But the culture can't write your book."
Colson Whitehead

80TH ANNUAL MCKINNEY AWARDS

Colson Whitehead

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, 2022

An evening with Colson Whitehead in celebration of the 2022 McKinney Student Writing Contest winners at Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

Registration required for this livestreamed event.

Colson Whitehead, one of the leading fiction writers of his generation, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize), The Nickel Boys (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York.

 

His most recent novel, Harlem Shuffle, work of crime fiction set in Harlem during the 1960s, was published in 2021. He is the only author to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for two consecutive works. He was named New York’s State Author (2018-2021) by proclamation of the governor, under the auspices of the New York State Writers Institute, and has made several visits for events at the University at Albany. 

Photo credit: Madeline Whitehead

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Sponsored by Rensselaer’s Annual McKinney Writing Contest and Reading; Vollmer W. Fries Lecture; Department of Communication and Media; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Rensselaer Union; Friends of the Folsom Library; and the New York State Writers Institute.