Arts & Culture
Colson Whitehead: Crook Manifesto
- 9:30 pm
17 August 2023
Southbank Centre | £15
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Colson Whitehead talks to Erica Wagner about Crook Manifesto, the highly anticipated sequel to Harlem Shuffle.
It’s 1971 in New York. Trash is piled on the streets, crime is at a record high, and the city is careening towards bankruptcy.
A shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Ray Carney, furniture-store owner, and ex-fence is trying to keep his head down, his business up, and his life on the straight and narrow.
But staying out of the game is complicated in a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent and the utterly corrupt.
Crook Manifesto is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem, and a searching portrait of how families work in the face of indifference, chaos, and hostility.
Colson Whitehead is a multi-award-winning and bestselling author whose works include The Nickel Boys, The Underground Railroad, The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt and a collection of essays, The Colossus of New York.
He is one of only four novelists to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction twice and is a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships.
For The Underground Railroad, Whitehead won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and was long listed for the Booker Prize.
He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for a second time for The Nickel Boys, which also won the George Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and The Kirkus Prize.
The Underground Railroad has been adapted as an Amazon Prime TV series, produced, and directed by Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins, and was broadcast in 2021.
Erica Wagner’s latest book is Mary and Mr Eliot: A Sort of Love Story. Wagner was the literary editor of The Times for 17 years and is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar.
Purchase your ticket here
Illustration by Andrew MacGregor