by Colson Whitehead
from the April 1, 2019 issue of The New Yorker
I had mixed feelings about Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Underground Railroad. I liked quite a bit of it, but I didn’t followed the experiment to the same depths as others. I think that’s on me; as I’ve read more critical commentary on it, I like it more and more in retrospect. This summer we’ll get his follow-up, The Nickel Boys, from which we get “The Match.” Yes, this is an excerpt, but presumably one that will garner quite a bit of attention. I know I’m curious.
But not quite enough to dig in on a Monday morning. So I’ll put this out there and look forward to your thoughts below. Is this a good story? Does it make you want to read The Nickel Boys?
Also, what are your thoughts on Whitehead in general? I think I need to get to know him better, personally. When I first heard of him, he’d published a couple of novels and was relatively young. But time has passed! The Nickel Boys will be his seventh novel. He’s now been publishing for twenty years, consistently picking up honors and accolades since the beginning. So maybe I should just skip the excerpt and plan on reading the book in July.