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The Providence Athenæum Presents Colson Whitehead

September 27, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Providence Athenæum is thrilled to welcome acclaimed author Colson Whitehead to Providence!

Named “a genuine literary phenomenon” by The New York Times, he recently was the first author in almost a decade to appear on the cover of Time. His 2016 novel The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. His newest novel The Nickel Boys has topped bestseller lists since its publication last month, and to universal acclaim. Ron Charles of The Washington Post describes the book as “in conversation with works by James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and especially Martin Luther King. It shreds our easy confidence in the triumph of goodness and leaves in its place a hard and bitter truth about the ongoing American experiment.” For more information on Colson Whitehead, visit prhspeakers.com. Book sale & signing to follow.

Sponsored by Chas A. Miller III and Birch Coffey/ The Ira S. and Anna Galkin Charitable Trust.

Important Event information:

  • Location: The program will take place at the First Unitarian Church at 1 Benevolent Street (on the corner of Benefit and Benevolent, two blocks from the Athenæum).
  • Time: 6-8pm. Doors open at 5pm; the speaking program will begin at 6pm.
  • Book Sale: Books will be available for purchase in the Atrium of the First Unitarian Church one hour before and up to one hour after the program. Cash and credit card are accepted.
  • Book Signing: Immediately following the program, Colson Whitehead will sign books in the Atrium of the First Unitarian Church.
  • Parking: The First Unitarian Church has a small adjacent parking lot with an entrance on Benefit Street. Additional street parking is available, and we encourage attendees to leave ample time to find parking, walk, or rideshare.
  • Access: Doors will open at 5pm. Please enter the church through the main doors on Benefit Street. Those who prefer to avoid stairs should use the accessible entrance on Benevolent Street.
  • Seating: Seating is general admission.
  • Q&A: Following the speaking program, there will be a Q&A with selected, pre-submitted questions. You are invited to submit questions when you register.

To receive prioritized access to other Providence Athenæum events, please consider joining the library. Membership begins at under $8/month. If you’d prefer to register over the phone, please call 401-421-6970.

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. He was named New York’s 11th State Author in 2018.

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, a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and W+riters, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for John Henry Days.

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.

He lives in New York City.


September 27, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


First Unitarian Church of Providence
One Benevolent Street
Providence, RI 02906 United States
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