A large and appreciative audience at Indiana University South Bend got an inside look at how best-selling author Colson Whitehead wrote The Underground Railroad during an interactive discussion on Wednesday evening. Whitehead spent an hour talking about the book in a relaxed and entertaining question-and answer format with host Darryl Heller, director of the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center.
The Underground Railroad won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. It was also the #1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 Time Magazine Book of the Year, #1 Amazon Book of the Year, and the selection of Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club.
Whitehead answered questions from Heller and the audience during the session while sitting on stage at the Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall. After the talk he patiently signed books for people of all ages and backgrounds who waited in a line that stretched up the stairs of the hall. Many times during the talk and book-signing he was thanked for writing the book which tells the fictional account of Cora and Caesar, two slaves who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations.
Mr. Whitehead’s appearance was sponsored by the Civil Rights Heritage Center at IU South Bend as part of the celebration of Black History Month.