Colson Whitehead won the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for fiction presented by the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. Whitehead was honored for his novel The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, 2016).
The book tells the tale of a slave woman named Cora who escapes from a cotton plantation in Georgia. During her journey North on the Underground Railroad, she kills a young White man who was trying to capture her.
The novel has previously won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, and the Carnegie Medal of Excellence.
A graduate of Harvard University, Whitehead won a MacArthur Fellowship. Whitehead has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.