Colson Whitehead’s ‘Crook Manifesto’ wins $50,000 Gotham Prize for outstanding book about NYC

Whitehead is among the country’s most celebrated authors

NEW YORK (AP) — Colson Whitehead’s latest literary honor feels very much at home.

The author’s “Crook Manifesto,” a crime story set in 1970s Harlem and centered on a beleaguered furniture store owner, is this year’s winner of the Gotham Book Prize for an outstanding work about New York City. The $50,000 award was established four years ago by bookstore owner-philanthropist Bradley Tusk and political strategist Howard Wolfson.

″Crook Manifesto is a portrait of a man, but also his city,” Whitehead, a native New Yorker, said in a statement Wednesday. “Capturing the dynamism of my hometown and its crazy citizens is at the heart of the project, so I can’t express how lovely it is for the book to be recognized by the Gotham Book Prize.”

In a joint statement, Tusk and Wolfson praised Whitehead’s novel as the kind of book they had hoped to celebrate, one that captures “the city in all of its complexity.”

Previous winners of the Gotham Prize include Andrea Elliott’s nonfiction “Invisible Child” and the James McBride novel “Deacon King Kong.”

This cover image released by Doubleday shows “Crook Manifesto” by Colson Whitehead. (Doubleday via AP)

Whitehead is among the country’s most celebrated authors, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose works include “The Underground Railroad” and “The Nickel Boys.” He has called “Crook Manifesto” the second book of a planned Harlem trilogy, which began in 2021 with “Harlem Shuffle.”