Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead, Serge Chauvin

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Overview

Meilleur roman étranger 2017 - Palmarès du magazine LIRE

Palmarès 2017 LE POINT - 25 meilleurs livres de l'année

Cora, seize ans, est esclave sur une plantation de coton dans la Géorgie d'avant la guerre de Sécession. Abandonnée par sa mère lorsqu'elle était enfant, elle survit tant bien que mal à la violence de sa condition. Lorsque Caesar, un esclave récemment arrivé de Virginie, lui propose de s'enfuir, elle accepte et tente, au péril de sa vie, de gagner avec lui les états libres du Nord.
De la Caroline du Sud à l'Indiana en passant par le Tennessee, Cora va vivre une incroyable odyssée. Traquée comme une bête par un impitoyable chasseur d'esclaves qui l'oblige à fuir, sans cesse, le « misérable coeur palpitant » des villes, elle fera tout pour conquérir sa liberté.

L'une des prouesses de Colson Whitehead est de matérialiser l'« Underground Railroad », le célèbre réseau clandestin d'aide aux esclaves en fuite qui devient ici une véritable voie ferrée souterraine, pour explorer, avec une originalité et une maîtrise époustouflantes, les fondements et la mécanique du racisme.
à la fois récit d'un combat poignant et réflexion saisissante sur la lecture de l'Histoire, ce roman, couronné par le prix Pulitzer, est une oeuvre politique aujourd'hui plus que jamais nécessaire.

« Un roman puissant et presque hallucinatoire. Une histoire essentielle pour comprendre les Américains d'hier et d'aujourd'hui. » The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782226425423
Publisher: Albin Michel
Publication date: 08/23/2017
Sold by: ALBIN MICHEL
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 909,486
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Colson Whitehead est reconnu comme l'un des écrivains américains les plus talentueux et originaux de sa génération. Underground Railroad, élu meilleur roman de l'année par l'ensemble de la presse américaine, a été récompensé par le National Book Award 2016 et récemment distingué par la Médaille Carnegie, dans la catégorie « Fiction ». Salué par Barack Obama, le livre connaît depuis sa parution un succès phénoménal aux états-Unis et dans le monde entier.

Hometown:

Brooklyn, NY

Date of Birth:

November 6, 1969

Place of Birth:

New York, NY

Education:

Harvard College, BA in English & American Literature

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Underground Railroad"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Colson Whitehead.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of The Underground Railroad, a triumph of a novel by Colson Whitehead.

1. How does the depiction of slavery in The Underground Railroad compare to other depictions in literature and film?

2. The scenes on Randall’s plantation are horrific—how did the writing affect you as a reader?

3. In North Carolina, institutions like doctor’s offices and museums that were supposed to help ‘black uplift’ were corrupt and unethical. How do Cora’s challenges in North Carolina mirror what America is still struggling with today?

4. Cora constructs elaborate daydreams about her life as a free woman and dedicates herself to reading and expanding her education. What role do you think stories play for Cora and other travelers using the underground railroad?

5. “The treasure, of course, was the underground railroad... Some might call freedom the dearest currency of all.” How does this quote shape the story for you?

6. How does Ethel’s backstory, her relationship with slavery and Cora’s use of her home affect you?

7. What are your impressions of John Valentine’s vision for the farm?

8. When speaking of Valentine’s Farm, Cora explains “Even if the adults were free of the shackles that held them fast, bondage had stolen too much time. Only the children could take full advantage of their dreaming. If the white men let them.” What makes this so impactful both in the novel and today?

9. What do you think about Terrance Randall’s fate?

10. How do you feel about Cora’s mother’s decision to run away? How does your opinion of Cora’s mother change once you’ve learned about her fate?

11. Whitehead creates emotional instability for the reader: if things are going well, you get comfortable before a sudden tragedy. What does this sense of fear do to you as you’re reading?

12. Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

13. How does the state-by-state structure impact your reading process? Does it remind you of any other works of literature?

14. The book emphasizes how slaves were treated as property and reduced to objects. Do you feel that you now have a better understanding of what slavery was like?

15. Why do you think the author chose to portray a literal railroad? How did this aspect of magical realism impact your concept of how the real underground railroad worked?

16. Does The Underground Railroad change the way you look at the history of America, especially in the time of slavery and abolitionism?

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