Colson Whitehead to give American Masters Lecture on The Under...

    November 13, 2018

    Pulitzer-prize winning author Colson Whitehead will deliver the Lackawanna County Library System’s annual American Masters Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Scranton Cultural Center. Whitehead’s lecture will focus on his 2016 historical fiction novel, The Underground Railroad.

    The Underground Railroad, set in the time of slavery in the US, imagines a literal underground railroad, set up to transport slaves from plantations in the South to the North via real underground trains. Escaped slaves Cora and Caesar follow as they attempt to find freedom. Many obstacles plague their journey and try to hold them back along the way. Copies of the book can be found online.

    The Underground Railroad received many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2017, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the National Book Award. Oprah selected the novel for her Book Club, and it was featured on President Obama’s 2016 summer reading list and was a New York Times bestseller. It was also celebrated as a Best Book of the Year for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and more.

    Whitehead graduated from Harvard College, and lives in New York City. He has taught at many colleges and universities, including Columbia University and New York University, and has been a Writer-in-Residence at several universities, including the University of Richmond. He has written eight novels, with his ninth novel The Nickel Boys set for release in 2019.

    Attendance is free. To save a seat, reserve your free tickets online at, or by contacting any library in the Lackawanna County Library System. The Albright Memorial Library, adjacent to the Scranton Cultural Center and the closest Lackawanna County library, can be reached at 570-348-3000.

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