Here's a timeline of events, announcements, and key dates concerning Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.
• Whitehead produces handwritten one-page notes for a manuscript on novel about slavery.
• Whitehead places handwritten note on his computer and includes list with “South Carolina, futuristic gene splicing?”
• January: Whitehead writes the first 100 pages of what would become The Underground Railroad.
• November 25: Colson Whitehead tweets an image noting the upcoming release of his newest novel in fall 2016.
• December: Whitehead finishes manuscript for The Underground Railroad.
• December 29: The New York Times announces 16 upcoming 2016 releases, including The Underground Railroad
• December 30: Entertainment Weekly cites The Underground Railroad among 25 highly anticipated 2016 books.
• January 5: Flavor Wire cites The Underground Railroad as one of the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016.
• January 15: Whitehead tweets that his upcoming novel has a book cover.
• January 28: Boston Globe cites The Underground Railroad as one of the 23 of the most anticipated books of 2016.
• April 10: Publishers Weekly gives The Underground Railroad a starred review.
• April: Oprah Winfrey expresses interest in Whitehead's novel to Doubleday and request an earlier release date.
• April: Doubleday decides to print a first run of 200,000 initial copies, instead of 75,000, after talks with Winfrey.
• May 12: Whitehead participates in at the BookExpo America, where his book receives coverage.
• July 22: Whitehead's novel receives favorable review from Publishers Weekly.
• August: More than 70 publications cover Whitehead and his novel.
• August 2: The Underground Railroad is released, a month earlier than the planned Sept. 13 release date.
• August 2: Oprah Winfrey announces Whitehead's novel as a pick in her book club.
• August 7: The New York Times publishes a print-only excerpt from The Underground Railroad.
• August 12: Barack Obama includes The Underground Railroad on his summer reading list.
• August 21: The Underground Railroad appears at #4 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list.
• August 28: The Underground Railroad appears at #1 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list.
• September: Whitehead visits 14 different cities, including St. Louis, San Francisco, and Nashville on book tour.
• September 3: President Barack Obama recommends Whitehead's novel to readers.
• September 15: National Book Awards Longlist announced and includes The Underground Railroad.
• September 16: Plan B Entertainment and director Barry Jenkins will adapt Underground Railroad limited tv series.
• October: Visits 6 cities, including Boston, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver, Canada, on book tour.
• October 6: National Book Awards Shortlist announced and includes The Underground Railroad.
• October 28: Harpers Bazaar names The Underground Railroad as a Best Book of 2016.
• October 31: Publishers Weekly includes Whitehead on the cover for PW's Best Books of 2016 issue.
• November: Visits 6 cities, including Iowa City, Portland, and Toronto, Canada, on book tour.
• November 15: Amazon announces The Underground Railroad as #1 Book of the Year.
• November 16: Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is awarded the National Book Award for fiction.
• November 17: The Washington Post selects The Underground Railroad as one of its 10 best books of 2016.
• November 23: The New York Times selects The Underground Railroad as one of its 100 Notable Books of 2016.
• November 23: GQ magazine identifies The Underground as one of "the five novels you need to read this year."
• December 1: The New York Times names The Underground Railroad one of the 10 best books of 2016.
• December 2: The Seattle Times names The Underground Railroad in a roundup of best books of 2016.
• December 3: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch names The Underground Railroad one of the 50 best books of 2016.
• December 7: The Boston Globe names The Underground Railroad as a best book of 2016.
• December 9: The Wall Street Journal names The Underground Railroad a top 10 novel of the year.
• December 16: Carolyn Kellogg, for the Los Angeles Times names Whitehead's novel a top 10 book of 2016.
• December 25: USA Today names Whitehead author of the year.
• Colson Whitehead