The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

£8.99

The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits.

When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants.

And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

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Description

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2017

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER 2016

‘Whitehead is on a roll: the reviews have been sublime’ Guardian

‘Luminous, furious, wildly inventive’ Observer

Additional information

Dimensions 19.6 × 13 cm
ISBN

9780708898406

Format

Paperback

Pagination

400 pages

Publisher

Fleet

Our Booksellers Say...

"I've been handselling this book something fierce – it is one of those astonishing, world-view-altering novels. Whitehead's imagination is so luminous it's hard to imagine the underground railroad as anything other than he describes it." — Julie

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