ben h winter

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White people congratulate white writer for daring to write about slavery

The New York Times published a book review Monday for Ben H. Winters’ new novel Underground Airlines. The story takes place among runaway slave catchers in an alternate-history United States, where the Civil War never happened and slavery was never abolished. The Times’ consensus? Winters was really “brave” to write about such a “risky” topic because he is a white man and his book is about black people and slavery. They failed to mention the black woman who did this in 1979.

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Ben H. Winters’ new Underground Airlines paints a nightmarishly realistic picture of a modern-day America where the Civil War never happened and slavery is still legal in four Southern states. Critic Bethanne Patrick says Winters gets a little too tangled up in noir tropes, but readers will still get caught up in the world he creates. She also recommends reading Octavia Butler’s classic Kindred as a companion piece.

Check out her full review here.

– Petra

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Books I’m reading this October (Halloween theme)!

The books standing up are books I’m definitely reading, the one in a pile on the right are books I’m hoping to get to if I have the time (and don’t end up in a reading slump, like the past few months).

Go check out the summaries for these books and if you find any you like, add them to your to-read list for this month! :)

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Ben H. Winters’ latest novel, Underground Airlines, mashes together elements of the thriller with speculative history. Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan says that however you classify Underground Airlines, it’s indisputably a winner:

“Author Ben H. Winters has imagined not only a disturbing-but-plausible alternate reality for the United States but, as a white author, he’s also imagined himself into the body and consciousness of his black narrator, Victor. These days, in particular, that’s a controversial move, but the exceptional novel that results seems to me to be justification enough for such an act of creative crossing.”