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Book Series: 'The Underground Railroad'

The cover of the book "Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead

Let’s Talk About it, Oklahoma’s 2018 series "Living with Limits," concludes November 13th with The Underground Railroad (2016)

Dr. Tracy Floreani, Center Director, presents the Pulitzer and National Book Award winner The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. This novel dramatizes the series theme in a historical narrative tracing the arrival of a grandmother from Africa to her granddaughter Cora’s epic departure to find an alternative world. The novel generates a discussion of how ethnic minority classification can define and limit. The horror of the institution of slavery vividly haunts the world Cora moves through. Often compared to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Whitehead says that Swift's work informed the structure of Cora’s journey: “Any kind of adventure story where someone goes from allegorical episode to allegorical episode, and escapes at the last minute, that sort of outlandish series of events actually works for an escaped slave.” Even though Cora’s possibilities seem manifold when she rides the rails yearning for the dearest currency, freedom, Whitehead challenges us, as our other four authors have, to hope for a time when one descends to the depths of the human spirit and emerges transformed, to work and dream to move forward beyond what diminishes possibility for all.

This presentation is sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday evening, Oct. 13, at 7:00 PM in Room 151 of Walker Center
Petree College of Arts & Sciences, at NW 26th & N. Florida

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