Colson Whitehead on ‘Crook Manifesto’ and Harlem in the ’70s

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Gilbert Cruz is joined by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, who talks about his novel “Crook Manifesto,” which picks up the tale of furniture salesman and sometime crook Ray Carney, and what it was like to write about Harlem in the ’70s. He also reflects on his famous post-9/11 essay about New York City.

“I was trying to make sense of my hometown after it had been attacked,” Whitehead says of his piece from The New York Times Magazine, which was later collected in the book “The Colossus of New York.” “I was weeping writing this essay. … I felt better writing it, and I was articulating so much about the city I’d never tried to articulate before. And then when it came out, it meant so much to other people. I’d never written something that had that kind of response, and it moved me to write more essays about the city.”

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