The Nickel Boys

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“You pick the right tool for the job, and sometimes fantasy is a way to open up a story and convey a universal truth, and sometimes realism.” Colson Whitehead speaks with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about his writing process and the true story that inspired his latest novel, The Nickel Boys, which was published this week by Doubleday.

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Rules for Writing

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“Rule No. 10: Revise, revise, revise. I cannot stress this enough. Revision is when you do what you should have done the first time, but didn’t.” Colson Whitehead, whose seventh novel, The Nickel Boys (Doubleday, 2019), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, reads his 2012 New York Times piece “How to Write” at the Muldoon’s Picnic variety show in New York City in 2015.

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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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“Then, before you’re gone, you know that all that’s ever been will still be, even if there are no tomorrows.” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, a 2018 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree nominated by Colson Whitehead, reads the last page of his story “Through the Flash” from his debut story collection, Friday Black (Mariner Books, 2018).

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Colson Whitehead on Rejections

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“I became a writer once I realized no one liked my stuff. I just had no choice but to keep going and start a new novel.” In an interview for Louisiana Channel, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Colson Whitehead talks about how rejections of his first manuscript pushed him forward to pursue writing and why he enjoys exploring different genres.

Colson Whitehead

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"I have a good poker face because I'm half dead inside." Colson Whitehead reads excerpts from his new book, The Noble Hustle, chronicling his experience preparing for, and then competing in, the World Series of Poker. Read Kevin Nance's interview with Whitehead—on how he met his agent Nicole Aragi—in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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