Author(s): Colson Whitehead
Fiction | No Category
From the MacArthur and Whiting Award–winning author ofJohn Henry DaysandThe Intuitionistcomes a new, brisk, comic tour de force about identity, history, and the adhesive bandage industry When the citizens of Winthrop needed a new name for their town, they did what anyone would do—they hired a consultant. The protagonist ofApex Hides the Hurtis a nomenclature consultant. If you want just the right name for your new product, whether it be automobile or antidepressant, sneaker or spoon, he’s the man to get the job done. Wardrobe lack pizzazz? Come to the Outfit Outlet. Always the wallflower at social gatherings? Try Loquacia. And of course, whenever you take a fall, reach for Apex, because Apex Hides the Hurt. Apex is his crowning achievement, the multicultural bandage that has revolutionized the adhesive bandage industry. “Flesh-colored” be damned—no matter what your skin tone is—Apex will match it, or your money back. After leaving his job (following a mysterious misfortune), his expertise is called upon by the town of Winthrop. Once there, he meets the town council, who will try to sway his opinion over the coming days. Lucky Aberdeen, the millionaire software pioneer and hometown-boy-made-good, wants the name changed to something that will reflect the town’s capitalist aspirations, attracting new businesses and revitalizing the community. Who could argue with that? Albie Winthrop, beloved son of the town’s aristocracy, thinks Winthrop is a perfectly good name, and can’t imagine what the fuss is about. Regina Goode, the mayor, is a descendent of the black settlers who founded the town, and has her own secret agenda for what the name should be. Our expert must decide the outcome, with all its implications for the town’s future. Which name will he choose? Or perhaps he will devise his own? And what’s with his limp, anyway? Apex Hides the Hurtbrilliantly and wryly satirizes our contemporary culture, where memory and history are subsumed by the tides of marketing.
Brilliant. . . . Exhilarating. . . . What keeps you reading this critique of language is its language, and our perverse delight in the ingenious abuse of words -- New York Times A brilliant, witty, and subtle novel, written in a most engaging style, with tremendous aptness of language and command of plot * New York Review of Books *
Colson Whitehead is the New York Times bestselling author of The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.