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2017 Book List - Fiction

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. "Won the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and countless other prizes - and deserves it. Whitehead retells the hero's journey in this book, and the unlikely hero is an escaped slave named Cora. She runs from her abusive master and her broken kinspeople and discovers that the vaunted Underground Railroad is actually a real railroad, built underground by hands unknown. On her journey, she experiences the varied treatment of African Americans - the violence of her home in Georgia and the dark municipal experiments of South Carolina. The lily whitewash of North Carolina. The unmet promise of Indiana. Like Odysseus, she encounters white people who are ogres and white people who are kind, and hears the siren song of black activists and the laments of blacks who have given up to the oppressive system of slavery. The writing is elegaic at times, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez-like at others. It's an important, thoughtful book, and I'm glad I read it."