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Episode 1

Episode 1 of 10

Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about slavery in America. Read by Clarke Peters.

"What if the underground railroad was a literal railroad? And what if each state, as a runaway slave was going north, was a different state of American possibility, an alternative America?"

Colson Whitehead's inventive novel follows Cora and Caesar as they escape from a Georgia cotton plantation and run north in pursuit of freedom, aided by the stationmasters and conductors of the Underground Railroad. This brilliant and at times brutal novel about the history of slavery and racism in America, won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017.

Read by Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Abridged in ten parts by Sara Davies. Produced by Mair Bosworth for BBC Audio in Bristol.
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in February 2017.

28 days left to listen

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 8 Oct 2019 02:00

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Role Contributor
Reader Clarke Peters
Author Colson Whitehead
Abridger Sara Davies
Producer Mair Bosworth


  • Mon 20 Feb 2017 22:45
  • Mon 7 Oct 2019 14:00
  • Tue 8 Oct 2019 02:00

What was the Underground Railroad?

What was the Underground Railroad?

The secret network that enabled thousands of people escape from slavery.