The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
First Published: 2016
In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.
In Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Quotes from The Underground Railroad
Slavery is a sin when whites were put to the yoke, but not the African. All men are created equal, unless we decide you are not a man.
The world may be mean, but people don’t have to be, not if they refuse.
Stolen bodies working stolen land. It was an engine that did not stop, its hungry boiler fed with blood.
Sometimes a useful delusion is better than a useless truth.
About Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead is the author of a number of books, including The Nickel Boys, Sag Harbor, and The Intuitionist. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for The Underground Railroad. He currently lives in New York City. Visit the author’s website →