Colson Whitehead, Author of “The Underground Railroad,” to Speak at Duke Feb. 7

Photo by Madeline Whitehead

The Duke University Libraries are pleased to present an evening with author Colson Whitehead at 6 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, in Page Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entry and available through the Duke University Box Office.

To reserve a ticket, visit the Duke Box Office in person in the Bryan Center, go to its website (, or call (919) 684-4444. (Note: Ticket reservations made online or by phone carry a $1.50 per ticket service charge.)

Public parking ($5) will be available in Parking Garage IV (Bryan Center Parking Garage) at 125 Science Drive, with overflow parking in the Chemistry Lot at the intersection of Towerview Road and Circuit Drive. ADA parking will be available in the Bryan Center Surface Lot. (See directions and more information about parking for events at Page Auditorium.)

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, winner of the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize. In the novel’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is not a metaphor, but rather a secret network of tracks and tunnels that have been built beneath the Southern soil. It is through this web of stations that the novel’s heroine, an escaped slave named Cora, flees the unrelenting brutality of the Georgia plantation on which she was born.

Whitehead’s other books include The Noble Hustle, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, and The Colossus of New York, among others. Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harpers and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for John Henry Days. He lives in New York City.

Copies of Whitehead’s books will be available for sale at the event, and a booksigning with the author will follow his talk.

Whitehead’s talk on February 7 will be recorded and made available to subscribers to the Duke University Libraries newsletter. If you can’t make the live event, you may sign up for our newsletter and get notified when the recording is available to view.

Whitehead’s appearance at Duke is presented as the Weaver Memorial Lecture, a speaker series hosted every other year by the Duke University Libraries in memory of William B. Weaver, a 1972 Duke graduate and founding member of the Library Advisory Board. Previous speakers have included Barbara Kingsolver, Oliver Sacks, Dave Eggers, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and David Rubenstein, among others.

Special thanks to our co-sponsors for this event: The Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and Department of English.