Sections

Colson Whitehead’s new novel explores the city — after the apocalypse

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

In Colson Whitehead’s new novel, “Zone One,” gentrification is the least of New York City’s problems. More pressingly: it’s overrun with zombies.

Whitehead’s new book — which will be released with a reading on Oct. 19 at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene — is set in post-apocalyptic New York, after it’s been decimated by a pandemic. Our guide through Whitehead’s bleak re-imagining of the destroyed city is Mark Spitz, a “sweeper” for a civilian squad whose primary responsibility is exterminating “stragglers,” a particular breed of undead who are so emotionally tied to their old lives that they are doomed to repeat their former routines — but carry and spread the infection as they do.

“I tried to keep my usual preoccupations and meditated pace while tackling a genre that usually has much more action, gore and death, and usual fare,” Whitehead said. “I wanted to explore the different ideas of self.”

Part modern allegory, part social satire, “Zone One” is as whip-smart and carefully crafted as you’d expect from a pro like Whitehead. And lovers of zombie lit will be pleased that “Zone One” has plenty of gore to go around; after all, its author drew inspiration from horror films of the 1970s and ’80s.

“It’s a horror novel, so I wanted to stay in conventions,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to pay homage to my childhood — while other kids were playing sports, I was watching the ‘Twilight Zone.’ ”

Colson Whitehead at Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Portland Street and S. Elliott Place in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200]. Free, 7 pm. For info, visit www.greenlightbookstore.com.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.