Drop-In Book Club: “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead
Drop-In Book Club:
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Thursday, June 25, 2020
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT AND WAIT LIST ONLY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, E-MAIL US AT INFO@LITERARYAFFAIRS.NET.
Literary Affairs invites you to join us for a professionally facilitated discussion of the winner of The Pulitzer Prize, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. This special Drop-In Book Club will be led by our own Julie Robinson and space will be limited to allow for group participation.
Thursday, June 25
10:30am – 12pm
The safety and comfort of your own home.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the link below. No refunds.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE
WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colson Whitehead is the author of the novels Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. He has also written a book of essays about his home town, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in New York City.
His latest, the #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, is just out in paperback. It received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal, the Heartland Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Hurston-Wright Award, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is “as good as anyone.” Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.”
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear “out back.” Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King’s ringing assertion “Throw us in jail and we will still love you.” His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.
The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys’ fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
ABOUT JULIE ROBINSON
Julie Robinson is the founder and creative force behind Literary Affairs and a yearly writer’s festival, The Beverly Hills Literary Escape. She has been offering her clients a variety of intellectual and entertaining experiences to take them “Beyond the Book” for over two decades. Julie’s sphere of influence with book buyers has long been recognized by publishers and publicists. Selection as a Literary Affairs Book of the Month or placement on her highly regarded reading list ensures a book will be chosen by hundreds of book clubs through word of mouth. Literary Affairs has highly qualified facilitators leading over 50 book clubs a month across Los Angeles and Julie creates intimate interviews and events with top writers in luxury settings as well as Literary Escapes with best-selling authors at spas like Miraval in Arizona. Literary Affairs produces a podcast of great conversations with authors and discussions of classic literature called Beyond the Book, which can be found on their website and subscribed to on iTunes. Over the past few years Julie is proud to have partnered with The National Book Foundation through her Literary Affairs Medici Foundation to provide their after school BookUp reading program to middle school kids in South Central LA. Her foundation also presents a $5000 Medici Book Club Prize each year at The Beverly Hills Literary Escape to the Best Book Club Book of the year. Julie is currently serving on the advisory board of The Council of the Library Foundation.