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Colson Whitehead for Harlem Shuffle in conversation with Adam Serwer

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
Event date: 
Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Event Location

Zoom account of Books & Books
Link sent at 7pm, 8/9/22

Avid Bookshop, in partnership with host Books & Books/Miami Book Fair, presents an evening online with author Colson Whitehead in conversation with Adam Serwer celebrating the paperback release of a beloved staff pick, Harlem Shuffle. We are thrilled that this Zoom author talk takes place on publication day, Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 8pm ET. This virtual event is produced by Books & Books (Fla.), an independent bookstore near and dear to our hearts. We thank them for inviting us to be partners on this virtual author event.


To attend this virtual event, you must purchase a paperback copy of Harlem Shuffle from the Avid Bookshop website (just scroll down!). We ship nationwide and appreciate business from neighbors as well as faraway friends. On the day of the event at 7pm ET (1 hour before the event begins), we'll send event login information to the email address affiliated with your order of Harlem Shuffle

For frequent Avid event attendees, please note that this event starts at 8pm ET instead of our usual 7pm. 

Anyone who has purchased a paperback copy of Harlem Shuffle from Avid (& provided their email address!) will receive a Zoom link via email on August 9th at 7pm ET, one hour before the event begins at 8pm ET. (Don't see the email? Check your spam folder!) Please order your paperback copy of Harlem Shuffle as early as possible, as book sales will be cut 2 hours before the livestream begins. This means you must buy your book here on our website by 6pm ET on the day of the event (August 9, 2022).

Important: If you prefer to purchase your copy of Harlem Shuffle at the bookshop or via phone (706-850-2843), you must share your email address with the bookseller ringing you up so that we can send you login information before the event.


From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys comes Harlem Shuffle, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

"Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked." To his customers and neighbors on 125th Street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are expecting their second child. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. 

Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa—the "Waldorf of Harlem"—and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes. 

Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? Harlem Shuffle's ingenious story plays out in a beautifully re-created New York City of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.


Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of ten works of fiction and nonfiction, and is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (for The Nickel Boys and forThe Underground Railroad, which also won the National Book Award). A recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, he lives in New York City.


Adam Serwer has written for The Atlantic since 2016, focusing on contemporary politics while often viewing it through the lens of history. Serwer was a Spring Fellow at the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as well as the Ira Lipman Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is the recipient of the 2019 Hillman Prize for opinion journalism. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his family


Staff Pick Badge
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel By Colson Whitehead Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525567271
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Anchor - August 9th, 2022

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