In his 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and New York Times number one bestseller, Colson Whitehead reimagined the metaphorical Underground Railroad of history – whereby slaves were transported under cover of night from one safe house to the next, bound for free land – and replaced it with an actual train. Luminous, furious and wildly inventive, Colson’s seventh book has been lauded by Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. He sits down with New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul to discuss his imaginative exploration of the foundational sins of America. 

This event will be Closed Captioned. The National Relay Service is available to assist with phone bookings. Call SWF Box Office on (02) 9256 4200 or email ticketing@swf.org.au to book access tickets.

Colson Whitehead (International)

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Colson Whitehead is an author and essayist. His most recent work, The Underground Railroad, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. A #1 New York Times bestseller, it was on President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List and was the selection for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club. He is also the author of five other novels and two works of non-fiction, including Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway; and John Henry Days, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Whiting Writers Award.

Pamela Paul (International)

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Pamela Paul is the editor of the New York Times Book Review and oversees all books coverage at The New York Times. She is the author of four books, Parenting, Inc., Pornified, The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony and My Life with Bob. Before joining The New York Times, she was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate and Vogue. She is also the editor of the anthology, By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life.