Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys (2019)

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Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys (2019)

Post by jserraglio » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:04 am

Harrowing reading, not for the faint of heart.

The Nickel Boys is largely set at a fictionalized version of Florida's infamous reform school, the Dozier School for Boys (1900-2011) — Nickel Academy in the novel.

In the narrative, Elwood, a decent, bookish 1960s teen, is caught in the maw of Jim Crow and sent to the Nickel reform school where horrors ensue — beatings, rapes and murders of young boys by the staff. In fact, the only violent offenders at the school are all on staff. And the boys say it's called Nickel cuz their lives weren't worth 5 cents.

Whitehead wrote the novel in the wake of Donald Trump's 2016 coup. Significantly, the painted utility building at Nickel where the most frequent and brutal beatings take place is called the White House.

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