Past Event16 May 2020

America's Storyteller: Colson Whitehead

No longer available

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre

Talks & ideas

Auckland Writers Festival regrets to advise the cancellation of its May 2020 Festival, owing to the critical Covid-19 situation and the Government’s ban on mass public gatherings.

We’re immensely proud of the programme for our 20th Festival that was launched just last week.  We are extremely sad not to have the opportunity to deliver it to our writing and reading community, but the health and well-being of all must be our paramount concern at this difficult time.

Thank you for your ongoing support for the Festival and we look forward to working with you again in 2021.

All purchased tickets will be fully refunded via Ticketmaster, and we will be in touch with all stakeholders over the coming days to discuss our change of plans.  If customers have any queries regarding their booking, please contact Ticketmaster 0800 111 999.


Catapulted to literary stardom and a Pulitzer in 2017 on the publication of his exploration of slavery, The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead has since appeared on the cover of Time, with the strapline “America’s Storyteller”, to mark the advent of his new book The Nickel Boys. He says he was compelled to write his seventh novel by the election of Donald Trump. In the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school (based on a real-life Florida institution) in the 1960s, Colson “demonstrates to superb effect how racism in America has long operated as a codified and sanctioned activity intended to enrich one group at the expense of another” (The Guardian). His other books include the very funny non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker (The Noble Hustle). Whitehead talks with Paula Morris.

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