- Purchase/rental options available:
A new generation of minority and ethnic writers has come to prominence whose work signals a radical turn to a "postrace" era in American literature. Like Virginia Woolf ironically identifying the beginning of the modern era "on or about December 1910," Colson Whitehead, in an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times in 2009, marked the anniversary of the election of the first black man to the presidency of the United States by proclaiming that "One year ago . . . we officially became a postracial society." I will return to Whitehead momentarily, especially in reference to three of his novels, The Intuitionist (1998), John Henry Days (2001), and Zone One (2011). For the moment, however, I wish first to set the context for my appraisal of what I am calling here a "postrace aesthetic" in contemporary narrative.