Dreams Really Do Come True*

whitehead

We don’t need to tell you that Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor is an awesome book, since you can hear it from practically every book reviewer in America. But we’ll tell you we were STOKED to see him read at Book Court last night.

As he introduced himself he said something to the effect of, “I’m going to read from my new book, Sag Harbor. I hope you enjoy it. It’s going to be a fun time, it’s going to be an entertaining time. But most of all, it’s going to be a post-black time.”

Which, of course, is a reference to Touré’s oddly political review of Sag Harbor on the cover of last week’s The New York Times Book Review.

Guess you had to be there. We laughed pretty hard.

We promise to stop talking about Colson Whitehead for a while, right after we say this. The man is a precise and affecting writer. But another reason why he kicks ass is because he lets his fiction speak for itself. He deflects all questions about whether his work is autobiographical, or whether he represents a new, post-black era in American culture. He does this because he believes his fiction is the real thing, and he won’t let his biography or his coverage in the press obscure his fiction. So when somebody like Touré tries to turn him into a poster boy for a new era in race relations, Whitehead deflects it with a joke, and folds everything back into the story he was telling.

*if your dream is for softball to be rained out so you can see Colson Whitehead read from his new novel in person. We have strange dreams.

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