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Two-time Pulitzer novelist Whitehead talks about 'Nickel Boys' Wednesday in virtual Garde event

Colson Whitehead, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction, for "The Underground Railroad" and last year's "The Nickel Boys," will appear at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a virtual author talk/Q&A presented by the Garde Arts Center in partnership with Bank Square Books and the Savoy Book Shop & Café.

The program takes place via Crowdcast.com and the evening's moderator is John F. McKnight Jr., dean of institutional equity and inclusion at Connecticut College. The event ticket is $17 and includes access to the talk and a new paperback copy of "The Nickel Boys." A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the Garde.

"The Nickel Boys" tells the story of Elwood Curtis, a Black boy unjustly sentenced in the 1960s to a notorious Florida juvenile reformatory at the height of the Jim Crow era. Incredibly naïve, he's perhaps the least likely candidate to survive the institutional horrors and violence that veteran fellow inmate Jack Turner has yet met. The two bond against their vicious environment despite Curtis's pacific intentions and Turner's harsher view of reality — a conflict of philosophical coping mechanisms that have ominous portent.

Whitehead gave the 2017 commencement address at Conn College — the same year he won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award for "The Underground Railroad," a brutal and heartbreaking novel about slavery and the dream of freedom set in the Antebellum South.

To register for the event, access www.gardearts.org or www.banksquarebooks.com. Ticket buyers will receive a link and a password for your computer or streaming device. A copy of "The Nickel Boys" will be sent after the event via UPS.

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