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Copyright: Peter-Andreas Hassiepen

Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys

In German

Thomas Böhm in conversation with the author

German Reading by Malick Bauer

Florida, the beginning of the 60s. Elwood is 16 years old, lives with his grandmother in a black enclave in segregated Tallahassee and admires Martin Luther King Jr. When he's admitted to college it seems like his dream of social change is going to be realised. But he ends up in a stolen car by accident and is sent to the Nickel Academy reform school without a fair trial. At the academy teenage boys are abused, tortured and exploited. Once again Whitehead brings out the deeply rooted racism and never-ending trauma in American history. Based on a true story, his new novel is a call against injustice.

Colson Whitehead, born 1969 in New York, studied at Harvard University and worked for the New York Times, Harper's and Granta. Whitehead received the Whiting Writers Award (2000) and the Young Lions Fiction Award (2002) and was a MacArthur “Genius” fellow. His novel Underground Railroad was awarded the 2016 National Book Award and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Brooklyn.

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