Underground Airlines a NYT bestseller

Last week Underground Airlines debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction bestseller list at #20. It also entered the Indie Bestsellers List (compiled by the American Booksellers Association) at #11.

I am honored and grateful to everyone who bought the book; everyone who recommended it; everyone who is talking and keeps on talking about it.

PRAISE

There have been some extraordinary reviews. On the NPR program “Fresh Air,” Maureen Corrigan says it’s “an extraordinary new novel of alternate history” that “jolts readers to a heightened awareness, making us see just how much of the nightmare of what could have been is part of the all-too-familiar reality of what is.” The novelist Ken Kalfus noted in the Financial Times that “The carefully worked-out politics and mores of Winters’ fictional America mock our own, slyly satirising our blind-spots and compromise,” and says that “What distinguishes Underground Airlines as literature is the acuity and penetration of Winters’ moral vision.” Entertainment Weekly says “Winters crafts his thriller so deftly that the ingenious details of his sideways timeline often fly under the radar, blurring the line between Victor’s world and ours,” the Washington Post says “Winters has written a book that will make you see the world in a new light,” and USA Today calls it “a swift, smart, angry new novel” with a “vibrant imagination [that] never slackens.”

CONCERN

New York Times piece on me and the book drew some criticism, some about the appropriateness of me (a white person) writing with the voice and from the point of view of a black man; and even more so about the high profile offered to me for writing about this subject when there are many writers and artists of color who have done so before (some, like Octavia Butler and Steven Barnes specifically in a science-fiction or speculative context) who were left out of the conversation. These are important issues, and I take them very seriously. I responded to the controversy on Slate, I offered a piece on LitHub about black mystery authors who have inspired and influenced me, and I spoke at length about the whole tangle of issues at the Free Library of Philadelphia last week — here is the podcast.

APPEARANCES

  • Tuesday July 19, from 1 – 2 PM EST I was on the Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR (Connecticut).
  • Saturday July 23, from 10 – 1 AM PST I will be at San Diego ComicCon doing a panel about book-to-screen adaptations. (http://sched.co/7gHV)
  • Tuesday, July 26 I’ll be on the CBC Radio Program “Q”, which is also syndicated in the United States. Will post airtime when I have.
  • Tuesday, August 2, at 6:30 PM PST I will be at Diesel Books Brentwood, in  Los Angeles, reading and signing.
  • On Sunday, September 18 I will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
  • On Sunday, October 16 I will be at the Capital Performing Arts Center in Concord, NH, for an event with Colson Whitehead.
  • On Saturday, October 22 at 6 PM EST I will be at IndyReads Books in Indianapolis.

Thank you again for your support.

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