Sunday, November 20, 2016

Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad: A Timeline


Here's a timeline of events, announcements, and key dates concerning Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad

2000
• Whitehead produces handwritten one-page notes for a manuscript on novel about slavery.

2004
• Whitehead places handwritten note on his computer and includes list with “South Carolina, futuristic gene splicing?”

2015
• 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.

2016
• 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 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.

Related: 
Colson Whitehead

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