Colson Whitehead won the 2016 National Book Award for The Underground Railroad. As you may expect from the title, the novel is about a woman, Cora escaping slavery via The Underground Railroad. But in this world it’s an actual railroad, with tracks, tunnels and conductors. The Judges’ Citation, which can be found here along with an interview and highlights from The National Book Award Ceremony itself, sums up the power of the book best:
The Underground Railroad confirms Colson Whitehead’s reputation as one of our most daring and inventive writers. A suspenseful tale of escape and pursuit, it combines elements of fantasy and the counter-factual with an unflinching, painfully truthful depiction of American slavery. Whitehead revisits the grotesque barbarities of our nation’s history in the interest of our common stake in freedom and dignity. He has given us an electrifying narrative of the past, profoundly resonant with the present.
We have The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead in multiple formats.