Rock Island Public Library joins more than 200 other libraries in Illinois to kick off Season 3 of Illinois Libraries Present, a collaborative effort featuring virtual events with bestselling and award-winning authors and esteemed speakers. The season opens Sept. 6 with Colson Whitehead, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

The online “The Power of Story with Colson Whitehead” author talk will take place via Zoom at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. To receive the Zoom link, register with a participating library. 

Whitehead is only the fourth author to win two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction. His novel, The Underground Railroad, a #1 New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2017, as well as the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Fiction. Whitehead was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for The Nickel Boys.

Whitehead’s latest release, Crook Manifesto, and the second book in the Harlem Trilogy, was published in July 2023. It’s a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. The author’s other books include Harlem ShuffleThe Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and a collection of essays.

Whitehead received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, among others. In 2023, President Bidenawarded Whitehead a National Endowment for the Humanities Medal.

Colson Whitehead will be joined in conversation with award-winning author Tochi Onyebuchi. His books include GoliathRiot Baby, the Beasts Made of Night series, the War Girls series, and (S)kinfolk.

The next Illinois Libraries Present program is in October, when author Stephen Graham Jones talks horror. Stephen Graham Jones is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and a bestselling author. The virtual event will take place on Wednesday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The event with Colson Whitehead is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present (ILP), a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering premier events. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit here or call 309-732-7341 for assistance.