Colson Whitehead has been selected to receive the 2019 Stone Award for Literacy Achievement from Oregon State University. The award is presented to an American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed work and has been a mentor to young writers.
Whitehead is the author of six novels. His novel The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, 2016) reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list. The book tells the tale of a slave woman named Cora who escapes from a cotton plantation in Georgia. During her journey North on the Underground Railroad, she kills a young White man who was trying to capture her. The novel won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, and the Carnegie Medal of Excellence.
A graduate of Harvard University, Whitehead won a MacArthur Fellowship. Whitehead has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming.