Colson Whitehead, author of the 2016 National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction Monday.
Whitehead’s novel has been heralded by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Barack Obama since being published in August 2016. According to Doubleday, The Underground Railroad has sold more than 825,000 copies in the U.S.
The novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves on a Georgia plantation who escape but find themselves caught up in a murder while navigating the Underground Railroad, where engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath Southern soil.
Other black Pulitzer winners announced Monday include Tyehimba Jess for poetry, Hilton Als for criticism and Lynn Nottage for drama.