John Henry Days: a novel

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In a glowing review of Colson Whitehead's first novel,The Intuitionist, theNew York Times Book Reviewconcluded, "Literary reputations may not always rise and fall as predictably as elevators, but if there's any justice in the world of fiction, Colson Whitehead's should be heading toward the upper floors." WithJohn Henry Days, Colson Whitehead delivers on the promise of his critically acclaimed debut in a magnificent new novel: a retelling of the legend of John Henry that sweeps across generations and cultures in a stunning, hilarious, and unsettling portrait of American society. Immortalized in folk ballads, John Henry has been a favorite American hero since the mid-nineteenth century. According to legend, John Henry, a black laborer for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, was a man of superhuman strength and stamina. He proved his mettle in a contest with a steam drill, only to die of exhaustion moments after his triumph. InJohn Henry Days, Colson Whitehead transforms the simple ballad into a contrapuntal masterpiece. The narrative revolves around the story of J. Sutter, a young black journalist. Sutter is a "junketeer," a freeloading hack who roams from one publicity event to another, abusing his expense account and mooching as much as possible. It is 1996, and an assignment for a travel Web site takes Sutter to West Virginia for the first annual "John Henry Days" festival, a celebration of a new U.S. postal stamp honoring John Henry. And there the real story of John Henry emerges in graceful counterpoint to Sutter's thoroughly modern adventure. As he explores the parallels between the lives of these two black men, and between the Industrial Age, which literally killed John Henry, and the Digital Age that is destroying J. Sutter's soul, Whitehead adds multiple dimensions to the myth of the steel-driving man. And in dazzling set pieces, he traces the evolution of the famous ballad over the past century.John Henry Daysis a novel of extraordinary scope and mythic power that juxtaposes history and popular culture, the blatant bigotry of the past with the more insidious racism of the present, and laugh-out-loud humor with unforgettable poignancy.
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ISBN:
9780385498197
9780307486677
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Grouped Work ID 02e49fef-ff01-d7ac-626e-6e7894d165ea
Grouping Title john henry days
Grouping Author whitehead colson
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-19 23:18:15PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-20 00:09:39AM

Solr Details

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author Colson Whitehead
author_display Whitehead, Colson
available_at_school Antioch High
collection_school Fiction
detailed_location_school Antioch High - Teen Fiction
display_description From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead's triumphant novel is on one level a multifaceted retelling of the story of John Henry, the black steel-driver who died outracing a machine designed to replace him. On another level it's the story of a disaffected, middle-aged black journalist on a mission to set a record for junketeering who attends the annual John Henry Days festival. It is also a high-velocity thrill ride through the tunnel where American legend gives way to American pop culture, replete with p. r. flacks, stamp collectors, blues men , and turn-of-the-century song pluggers. John Henry Days is an acrobatic, intellectually dazzling, and laugh-out-loud funny book that will be read and talked about for years to come.
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format_school Book, eBook
id 02e49fef-ff01-d7ac-626e-6e7894d165ea
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last_indexed 2018-09-20T05:09:39.74Z
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literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
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owning_library_school Schools
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primary_isbn 9780385498197
publishDate 2001, 2009
record_details ils:CARL0000165449|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Doubleday,|c2001.|389 p. ; 25 cm., overdrive:7daf2d77-d9c2-4b1b-a2b5-65bec559dc2b|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2009|
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subject_facet African American journalists -- Fiction, John Henry (Legendary character) -- Fiction
title_display John Henry Days : a novel
title_full John Henry Days, John Henry Days : a novel / Colson Whitehead
title_short John Henry Days :
title_sub a novel
topic_facet African American journalists, Fiction, John Henry (Legendary character), Literature