The Underground Railroad author to speak Wednesday

Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2017 L.D. and Laverne Harrell Clark Fiction Prize for his novel, The Underground Railroad, will visit Texas State University April 4 for the award ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Wittliff Collections, on the 7th floor of the Alkek Library. A reading and signing by Whitehead will follow. The Clark Prize of $25,000 is one of the largest literary awards in the United States.

Established at Texas State University in 2016 and administered by the Department of English, the prize is designed to recognize an exceptional, recently-published book-length work of fiction in celebration of the Clarks’ lifelong contributions to, and love for, literature and the arts.

The Underground Railroad, which has also won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award, chronicles a young slave’s harrowing adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. In Whitehead’s conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

Whitehead is the author of six novels, including Sag Harbor, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; John Henry Days, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and The Intuitionist, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; as well as two critically-acclaimed works of nonfiction, The Colossus of New York and The Noble Hustle. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” and the Whiting Award, Whitehead lives in New York.

The event is co-sponsored by the Clark Literary Endowment, the Department of English and the MFA in Creative Writing program.

San Marcos Daily Record

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