Colson Whitehead was born and raised in New York City. Manhattan, actually.
For a couple of years, he was a pop culture critic for the Village Voice, writing about books and music. Eventually he became their television columnist.
His first novel The Intuitionist won the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway. The book concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors in a major metropolis.
John Henry Days, an investigation of the legendary folk hero, came out in 2001 and won the Young Lions Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
The Colossus of New York is a collection of impressionistic essays about the city. The question was, "What makes this place tick?" It was published in 2003.
His writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Granta, Harper's and Salon. He has been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Whiting Award.
The novel Apex Hides the Hurt concerns "identity, history, and the adhesive bandage industry." It will come out in March of 2006, or has already come out, depending on when you read this.
He lives in Brooklyn.