Author Colson Whitehead Chats About Latest Book Harlem Shuffle In Waterstones Interview

In a brand new event, author of bestselling and award winning book The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead will go in full discussion about his latest book that recently dropped on September 14th titled Harlem Shuffle.

Sitting with Michael Connelly, crime fiction author, the event will take place on September 22nd at 7pm virtually, presented by Barnes & Nobel. Click here for event.

If you happen to miss this event, check out an interview Whitehead had with Waterstones where he discusses Harlem, the various “Harlems” where he grew up in a “crime-ridden” area in the 1970s versus now where Harlem has been gentrified, and in his words, a lot of young people coming in, a lot of white people coming in, new restaurants and new stores. So that’s the current version.”

He also goes on to explain how the places from the 1950s and 60s have been demolished, and this is the time frame from which his novel Harlem Shuffle takes place. Therefore, he is giving the novel’s backdrop of the 1950s-60s in its historical context. In the interview, he goes even further back into the 19th century when Harlem was farmland and a mass immigration from Europe and into the 1920s when the Great Migration took place for Black people from the South and its racist, harsh Jim Crow laws, making Harlem become “the center of Black America” at that particular time.

Whitehead explains that he wanted to write a heist novel that took place between 1959 to 1964, based on his fondness for heist movies. Due to the calamities of that time period, it made for a distraction for the heist, those calamities being the anti-police riots of 1964. This was also a more familiar time for the author because it was around the time when he grew up.

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