P&P Live!: Colson Whitehead

  • June 26, 2020

Join the author for a virtual discussion of The Nickel Boys on Tues., June 30th, at 7 p.m. (EST)!

P&P Live!: Colson Whitehead

In The Nickel Boys, his #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood's only salvation is his friendship with fellow "delinquent" Turner, which deepens despite Turner's conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

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