Colson Whitehead: Crook Manifesto


Wednesday 16th August 2023, 7:30pm, £10

The Mount Without, Upper Church Ln, Bristol, BS2 8FN (click here for a map)

We are beyond honoured to welcome the double Pulitzer-winning, international best-selling author of The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys and countless other seismic works of literary genius, Colson Whitehead, to Bristol. Colson will be here to discuss the second volume of his Harlem Trilogy, Crook Manifesto.

He’ll be in conversation with author and fellow Spider-Man enthusiast Nikesh Shukla. Seeing as Colson Whitehead is one of the most accomplished, skillful, acclaimed and beloved authors of the modern era, we are expecting this to be busy – grab your tickets early!

Pre-order your hardback copy of Crook Manifesto (rrp £20.00) for a special discounted price with your ticket, then collect on the night. You can also take advantage of our mega-bundle and get Harlem Shuffle AND Crook Manifesto, and collect either on the night or from the shop beforehand (so you can get up to speed with the trilogy in advance).

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About Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan.

After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music.

His first novel, The Intuitionist, concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award.

John Henry Days followed in 2001, an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The novel received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

The Colossus of New York is a book of essays about the city. It was published in 2003 and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Apex Hides the Hurt (2006) is a novel about a “nomenclature consultant” who gets an assignment to name a town, and was a recipient of the PEN/Oakland Award.

Sag Harbor, published in 2009, is a novel about teenagers hanging out in Sag Harbor, Long Island during the summer of 1985. It was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Zone One (2011), about post-apocalyptic New York City, was a New York Times Bestseller.

The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death, a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker, appeared in 2014.

The Underground Railroad, a novel, was published in the summer of 2016. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, and was a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

The Nickel Boys is a novel inspired by the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

Harlem Shuffle, the first book in the Harlem Trilogy, was published in September 2021. Crook Manifesto, the second installment, will appear in 2023.

Colson Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s and Granta.

He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, A Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

In 2018, New York State named him their New York State Author, and in 2020 the Library of Congress awarded him their Prize for American Fiction.

He has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming. Apparently he can’t keep a job.

He lives in New York City.

Photo: Chris Close

About Crook Manifesto

‘Whether in high literary form or entertaining, page-turner mode, the man is simply incapable of writing a bad book’ IAN WILLIAMS, GUARDIAN

‘Whitehead has a talent for creating ambiguous, complex scenes that fix in your memory’ EVENING STANDARD

‘When he moves into a new genre, he keeps the bones but does his own decorating’ WASHINGTON POST

From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead comes the thrilling and entertaining sequel to Harlem Shuffle

1971 – 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.

His only immediate need is Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May, so what harm could it do to hit up Munson, his old police contact and fixer extraordinaire? And suddenly, staying out of the game becomes more complicated – and deadly. When one of Ray’s tenants is badly injured in a fire, he enlists the enduringly violent Pepper to look into how it started, leading the duo to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent and the utterly corrupt. In scalpel-sharp prose and with unnerving clarity and wit, Colson Whitehead writes about a city that runs on cronyism, threats, ego, ambition, incompetence and even, sometimes, pride.

Crook Manifesto is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem, and a searching portrait of how families work in the face of indifference, chaos and hostility.

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Location 236 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1JD Phone 0117 953 7961 E-mail Hours Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-6pm | Sunday: 11am-4pm | Monday: closed
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