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In this Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times best-selling follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly 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.

Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly).

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

One of the Best Books of the Year: Time, Esquire, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Slate, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vox, Variety, Christian Science Monitor, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Literary Hub, BuzzFeed, The New York Public Library.

New York Times best seller

National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

One of Time Magazine's 10 Best Fiction Books of the Decade

Winner of the Kirkus Prize

Longlisted for the National Book Award

Longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020

©2019 Colson Whitehead (P)2019 Random House Audio

Kritikerstimmen

"A necessary read." (President Barack Obama)

"This is a powerful book by one of America's great writers.... Without sentimentality, in as intense and finely crafted a book as you'll ever read, Whitehead tells a story of American history that won’t allow you to see the country in the same way again." (Toronto Star)

"Colson Whitehead continues to make a classic American genre his own.... The narration is disciplined and the sentences plain and sturdy, oars cutting into water. Every chapter hits its marks.... Whitehead comports himself with gravity and care, the steward of painful, suppressed histories; his choices on the page can feel as much ethical as aesthetic. The ordinary language, the clear pane of his prose, lets the stories speak for themselves.... Whitehead has written novels of horror and apocalypse; nothing touches the grimness of the real stories he conveys here." (The New York Times)

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