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Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

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0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library WHI (Text) 33500012735049 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 0385492995
  • ISBN: 9780385492997
  • ISBN: 9780385493000
  • ISBN: 0385493002
  • Physical Description: 255 pages ; 22 cm
  • Edition: 1st Anchor books ed.
  • Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 1999.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
An elevator inspector becomes the center of controversy when an elevator crashes. The inspector, Lila Mae Watson, is a black woman who inspects by intuition, as opposed to visual observation, and now she must prove her method was not at fault. A study of society's attitude to technology, and a debut in fiction.
Additional Physical Form available Note:
Also issued online.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 December 1998
    /*Starred Review*/ Whitehead's debut novel can claim a literary lineage that includes Orwell, Ellison, Vonnegut, and Pynchon, yet it is resoundingly original. Set in a New York^-like metropolis, it tells the tale of Lila Mae Watson, the first black woman elevator inspector. Now this may not sound impressive, but in the tricky universe Whitehead has constructed, elevators are mystical vehicles and the inspectors a priestly lot. But all is not peaceful in the cult of verticality: there is a war going on between two factions, the Empiricists, who work purely on the physical plane, and the Intuitionists, who inspect by sensing, or intuiting, the state of each machine. Watson is an Intuitionist whose faith is shaken to the core by a freak accident that not only jeopardizes her career but, as her attempt to clear her name draws her into a web of intrigue surrounding the enigmatic founder of her sect, puts her very life in danger. The story is mesmerizing, but it is Whitehead's shrewd and sardonic humor and agile explications of the insidiousness of racism and the eternal conflict between the material and the spiritual that make this such a trenchant and accomplished novel. ((Reviewed December 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Author Notes

Colson Whitehead was born in New York City in 1969.  His journalism has appeared in Vibe, Spin, Newsday, and The Village Voice, where he was a television columnist.  A graduate of Harvard College, he currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Subject: African American women > Fiction.
Elevators > Inspection > Fiction.
Humorous stories.
African American women.
Elevators > Inspection.
Genre: Detective and mystery fiction.
Humorous fiction.
Detective and mystery fiction.
Humorous fiction.

Additional Resources