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Print Novel April 20, 2001
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Colson Whitehead
The Intuitionist
1998

Imagine the hard-boiled detective fiction of Raymond Chandler as written by a mechanical engineer with a taste for hallucinogens. But that only scratches the surface of this amazing debut novel. The characters we encounter are as polluted and dreary as the city in which they labor, save for Lila Mae Watson, the city's first black female elevator inspector. When an elevator she inspected crashes in a heap of metal and smoke, Lila Mae believes her next task is to save her reputation. But Whitehead sets her on a much more fantastic course. The result is a stunning, darkly comic exploration of race, sexuality and the metaphysical world.


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