On July 8, novelist Colson Whitehead became only the second writer of color and sixth writer ever to be featured on the cover of Time magazine, which called him “America’s Storyteller.” In this Reader Series class, follow the career arc of this contemporary master by reading his first novel, The Intuitionist, his Pulitzer prizewinner, The Underground Railroad, and his newest book, The Nickel Boys, the based-on-real-life story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
Reader series classes cover three books in a short period of time, taking you on a deep dive into specific topic or author to gain a more advanced understanding of literature and the world. Experienced instructors will provide history, context, and analysis, and guide in-depth discussion that will help make you an instant expert in a single subject or author’s body of work.
Each participant can decide how they choose to engage with the classes. You can read all three books ahead of time, read them as the class progresses, or read them after the class has concluded. No matter your level of prior knowledge, you will receive a wealth of materials and insights in a condensed period, like a masterclass or a great course, only right here in Cleveland.
This class is presented in partnership with Siegal Lifelong Learning.
Michelle R. Smith is a writer, educator, cultural facilitator, and native Clevelander. She is the author of the poetry collections Ariel in Black (2015) and The Vagina Analogues (2020), and the creator of BLAX MUSEUM, an annual performance showcase dedicated to honoring notable black figures in American history and culture. Michelle’s favorite writers include Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Sylvia Plath, Terrance Hayes, and Saeed Jones.