Colson Whitehead wrote a zombie novel?!

Colson Whitehead

The July issue of Harper’s Magazine informs me that Colson Whitehead has a zombie novel–called Zone One–coming out this fall.  Remarkable.

Colson Whitehead gets characterized as a mainstream New York literary fiction author, and not somebody who writes books about monsters.  This zombie book is a real surprise, at least to me.

The cover of "Zone One"

I’m a big fan of Whitehead’s humorous essays (like this and this) where– as in a good Randy Newman song– you can never tell exactly how serious he is being, but you laugh along the entire time.  (I also like the extent to which Whitehead thanks Beelzebub on his blog.)  I generally enjoy his novels too, but I also feel they’re often propelled forward only by his being cute and twee (and I am not always sated– at novel length, anyway– by cuteness and tweeness*).

Will Whitehead’s zombie novel be compelling, scary, and funny?  I hope so.  Here’s an excerpt from Harper’s that makes me think it will be typical Colson Whitehead:

“The plague-blind residents of Apt. 7J and 9F, who had studiously ignored each other during the occasional elevator internment, had elected themselves to the condo board without dissenting votes and now patrolled the halls in search of bylaw infractions and flesh.”

I mean, that’s sort of cute, yeah, but also sort of inside-baseball for New York condo life.

I hope Zone One is awesome, and that it appeals to all kinds of zombie fans.  You can learn more about it here.


*Note to self: Remember word for future limericks.

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