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Best Colson Whitehead audiobooks

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Books on June 27, 2022
If you're looking for something new to listen to, check out Colson Whitehead's audiobooks. Here are New York Times Best 5 Colson Whitehead Audiobooks that you need to listen to.

    Best Colson Whitehead Audiobooks

    Colson Whitehead is an award-winning Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, essayist, and critic. He is the author of several novels, including The Underground Railroad, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in New York City.

    About Colson Whitehead

    Colson Whitehead was born in 1969 in New York City. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. His work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant.

    Whitehead’s first book, The Intuitionist (1999), was a finalist for the National Book Award. His second novel, John Henry Days (2001), was a bestseller and won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third novel, Sag Harbor (2009), was also a bestseller. Whitehead’s fourth novel, Zone One (2011), was a bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by more than two dozen publications.

    Whitehead’s fifth novel, The Underground Railroad (2016), won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was also named one of the best books of the year by more than one hundred publications.

    In 2019, Whitehead published his sixth novel, The Nickel Boys, which also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

    Genre of writing

    The award-winning novelist and best-selling author Colson Whitehead is known for writing literary fiction and non-fiction. His novels have been praised for their inventive storytelling and social commentary, and he has won numerous awards for his work. Most notably, he is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. In addition to his novels, Whitehead has also written essays and criticism for various publications. His work often explores themes of race and racism against African American people in America.

    A brief overview of awards

    The multiple award winner is best known as the author of The Underground Railroad, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award in Fiction, among other honors. Whitehead’s other award-winning books include The Intuitionist, Zone One, Sag Harbor, and The Nickel Boys.

    The 1991 Harvard graduate also won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in fiction on Monday for his novel “The Nickel Boys,” joining William Faulkner, John Updike, and Booth Tarkington as the only writers to win the prestigious prize twice.

    Best 5 Colson Whitehead Audiobooks

    If you’re looking for something new to listen to, check out Colson Whitehead’s audiobooks. The New York Times Bestselling author has written several novels including The Intuitionist, Zone One, and The Underground Railroad.

    His works have been adapted into a podcast, television series, and stage play. Harlem Shuffle is a particularly popular historical fiction heist audiobook that was narrated by Dion Graham.

    Here are New York Times Best 5 Colson Whitehead Audiobooks that you need to listen to:

    1. The Nickel Boys

    1. The Harlem Shuffle

    2. John Henry Days

    3. The Underground Railroad

    4. The Colossus of New York

    Top Audiobooks narrated by Colson Whitehead himself

    The multiple award winner often narrates his own novels, and here are some of the top audiobooks that you can listen to or add to your wishlist.

    1. The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) – Narrated by: JD Jackson, Colson Whitehead

    2. The Noble Hustle – Narrated by: Colson Whitehead

    3. The Colossus of New York – Narrated by: Colson Whitehead

    These audiobooks are available on multiple online platforms, including Amazon.

    What order should you read Colson Whitehead books?

    Colson Whitehead is a fantastic writer and his work has been extensively compared to that of J.R.R Tolkien, so if you haven’t yet started then here are the recommended titles to discuss with your book club:

    • The Intuitionist (1999)

    • John Henry Days (2001)

    • Sag Harbor (2009)

    • Zone One (2011)

    • The Nickel Boys (2019)

    The Nickel Boys

    Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys (2019) is a fictionalized crime novel that took place at the Nickel Academy, a juvenile reform school in Florida during the Jim Crow era.

    Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction

    Colson Whitehead won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his 2019 novel Nickel Boys. The win comes just three years after Whitehead won the Prize for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, making Whitehead the fourth author to ever win a Pulitzer for fiction twice.

    Publication details

    Doubleday published The Nickel Boys on July 16, 2019. It is Colson Whitehead’s seventh novel. It was set in Florida and New York City and has 224 pages.


    The novel tells the story of Elwood Curtis, a black teenager who is sent to a juvenile reform school in Tallahassee, Florida, in the early 1960s. The school is notorious for its brutal conditions and abuse of its students. Elwood is determined to escape and make his way to New York City, where he dreams of becoming a lawyer.

    The Nickel Boys was inspired by the true story of the Dozier School for Boys, a reform school that operated in Florida from 1900 to 2011. The school was notorious for its brutal conditions and abuse of its students

    Overall reviews

    The novel received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised Whitehead’s writing and the power of the story, while others felt that the novel was too brutal and depressing.

    The Harlem Shuffle

    Harlem Shuffle is a novel by Colson Whitehead. It tells the story of two brothers, Despite their different approaches to life, the two brothers find themselves drawn to each other as they confront the challenges of growing up in Harlem in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Publication details

    Harlem Shuffle was published by Doubleday on September 14, 2021, and it was released in print (hardcover and paperback), e-book, and audiobook.


    Harlem Shuffle tells the story of two young men, twins, who are separated at birth and raised in different parts of the country. One brother, Darryl, grows up in a small town in the Midwest, while the other, Carl, is raised in the inner city of New York. As adults, they are reunited when Darryl comes to New York to visit his brother. The novel chronicles their reunion and the events that follow, as the twins try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made.

    Overall reviews

    Harlem Shuffle is viewed by many as an important work of fiction that offers a powerful and moving portrait of the African American experience in America. The novel is sure to resonate with readers of all ages, especially those who are looking for a window into the past.

    John Henry Days

    Colson Whitehead’s novel John Henry Days tell the story of the legendary figure of American folklore, John Henry. The novel follows J.S., a black public relations specialist, as he travels to West Virginia to help promote a festival celebrating John Henry. J.S.’s journey takes him into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, where he discovers the true story of John Henry and the people who remember him.

    Publication details

    The publishers of this book are Doubleday (HB) & Anchor Books (PB) and it was released on May 15, 2001, in print (Hardback & Paperback) and has 400 pages (hardback edition).


    John Henry Days is a 2001 novel by Colson Whitehead. The book tells the story of Jove, a journalist who becomes obsessed with the folklore surrounding John Henry, an African American folk hero.

    Jove is initially assigned to write a story about a stamp being issued in honor of John Henry. However, he becomes fixated on the legend of John Henry and begins to research the man’s life. He discovers that there are many different versions of the John Henry story, each with its own purpose and meaning.

    Overall reviews

    John Henry Days is a fascinating blend of history and fiction, mixing together the true story of John Henry with elements of legend and myth. It’s a wonderful read that is sure to please fans of both historical fiction and American folklore.

    The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad was an important part of American history. It was a network of people and places that helped slaves escape to freedom. The novel tells the story of one girl’s journey on the Underground Railroad.

    Publication details

    The novel was published by Doubleday on August 2, 2016, and it has 320 pages.


    The Underground Railroad is a 2016 novel by Colson Whitehead. The novel tells the story of Cora, a young slave who escapes from a Georgia plantation via the Underground Railroad, and chronicles her harrowing journey as she makes her way to freedom.

    Overall reviews

    The book was released to critical acclaim and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, among other accolades.

    The Underground Railroad has been described as a “stunning achievement” and a “powerful work of historical fiction”. Whitehead’s exploration of America’s history of racism and violence is both timely and timeless, and his use of magical realism allows him to tell a story that is both brutal and beautiful.

    The Colossus of New York

    The Colossus of New York is a novel by Colson Whitehead. Published in 2003, it tells the story of a city and its people through the eyes of a young man named Cooper Union. A native New Yorker, Cooper is obsessed with the city and its history, and he uses his encyclopedic knowledge to navigate its streets and skyscrapers.

    Publication details

    The novel was published in 2003 by Doubleday with158 pages in print and e-book.


    The novel is set in the days leading up to the September 11th attacks, and it chronicles the events of that fateful day through Cooper’s eyes. The novel is told in a nonlinear fashion, with flashbacks to Cooper’s childhood and adolescence interspersed with scenes from the present day.

    Overall reviews

    The Colossus of New York is a love letter to the city of New York, and it is also a portrait of a young man coming of age in a time of crisis. Cooper’s journey is one that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt lost in the big city.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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