The Intuitionist

Colson Whitehead

The Intuitionist
United Kingdom
20 February 2024

The Intuitionist

Colson Whitehead

The 25th anniversary hardback edition of the stylish debut novel by the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad that wowed critics and readers and marked the emergence of an important American writer

'A thrilling blend of noir and fantasy.'Guardian. In an unnamed city - a hardboiled pre-Civil Rights New York sort of city -heroine Lila Mae has succeeded in becoming the very first Black female elevator inspector. In Whitehead's darkly comic otherworld, this is a job imbued with an almost mystical significance. But the illustrious Department of Elevator Inspectors is in crisis, bitterly divided between the Empiricists (check the machinery) and the Intuitionists (tune in to the vibes). Lila is an Intuitionist and so much better at her job than anyone else that surely it must be those 'good-old-boy' Empiricists who have set up the serious accident which occurs on her watch - and just before the Departmental elections, too. Lila sets out to clear her name (and discover the secret formula of the Perfect Elevator at the same time), and the author keeps us on our toes guessing the outcome as he cleverly tweaks and twists his plot, catching everybody out. At the same time the story is almost certainly an allegory but of what, exactly, readers may work out for themselves. A teasing, challenging and entertaining read.

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