Underground Airlines found a place on many lists of 2016’s best novels, including Amazon’s 100 Best Books of the Year, the BBC’s 10 Best Books of 2016, the 10 Best Books list from Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s Fresh Air, as well as speciality lists from literary websites like BookChase and LitReactor. Publisher’s Weekly has the book on their list of 2016’s best mysteries, and it was nominated for a GoodReads Readers Choice award in the science-fiction category. Not only did Slate critic Katy Waldman pick the book as one of the year’s best, but a second Slate critic (Laura Miller) picked the audio version, read by the extraordinary William DeMerritt, as one of the year’s best audio books, and the Slate writer Dan Kois listed my nameless hero (best known as Victor) among the best pop-culture characters of 2016.
And speaking of the audiobook, Audiofile magazine picked Underground Airlines as the best mystery of 2016.
I’ll leave you — for now, for the year — with this interview I did for The Undefeated, a sports and culture website run by ESPN. I’m honored by what the journalist, Jesse Washington, had to say about my work in his introduction, and I think my answers to his very smart questions are my clearest articulation of my intentions in writing the novel:
“Like most white Americans, I am not forced to face those facts on a day-to-day basis — the violence and fear of violence reflected in high-profile police shootings of unarmed blacks, but also just the day-to-day inequalities and indignities: housing discrimination, employment discrimination, mass incarceration. All of it. There is no way to untangle these contemporary evils from our historical evil…”