The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (EPUB, AZW3)
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
The Underground Railroad
As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage. And a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.