Colson Whitehead Lisa talks with novelist Colson Whitehead about his new novel JOHN HENRY DAYS. John Henry is a mythic American folk hero who, in the 19th century, took on the newly invented steam engine in a competition to drive railroad spikes. It's the classic Man vs. Machine contest, where the man wins, but loses his life in the process. Whitehead retells the John Henry tale with a parallel modern story.
NPR logo

Colson Whitehead

Only Available in Archive Formats.
Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Lisa talks with novelist Colson Whitehead about his new novel JOHN HENRY DAYS. John Henry is a mythic American folk hero who, in the 19th century, took on the newly invented steam engine in a competition to drive railroad spikes. It's the classic Man vs. Machine contest, where the man wins, but loses his life in the process. Whitehead retells the John Henry tale with a parallel modern story.