This debut novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut. Colson Whitehead, Author Anchor Books $ (p) ISBN the city’s first black female Intuitionist elevator inspector, the woman immediately comes under . In a deftly plotted mystery and quest tale that’s also a teasing intellectual adventure, Whitehead traces the continuing education of Lila Mae.

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Yes, this is one hhe those books where the setup sounds faintly ridiculous. The Intuitionist 1 23 Mar 28, Verticality, architectural and social, is the lofty idea at the heart of Colson Whitehead’s first novel that takes place in an unnamed high-rise city that combines 21st-century engineering feats with 19th-century pork-barrel politics. It definitely piques my interest in the rest of the Whitehead cannon. I kept waiting for the story is to take a turn into the fantastic; but it didn’t.

Lila Mae Watson is the unnamed, but very New York-like city’s first female African-american elevator inspector. I can anthropomorphize a lot of things – I’ve been known to cry at the IKEA commercial when the desk lamp is set out by the curb in the rain.

Intuitionists are transforming the field, and people of color are transforming themselves. At pages I was still waiting. But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae’s watch, chaos ensues. In this world, we are introduced to Lila Mae – an excellent elevator inspector, an Intuitionist, brilliant and passionate about her field, and a trailblazer – the first black woman to become an Inspector in an overwhelmingly white boys’ club.

Fast-paced, humorous and candid, The Test follows the battles on and off the field as stand-in England captain, James McCall, tries to get his exhausted team across the finish line. Sep 27, Christy rated it really liked it Shelves: Please try again later. Three and a half stars, rounding up because this author can write. This page was last edited on 29 Marchat The hallmarks of the postmodern style are there.


Lila Mae’s quest is mysteriously entwined with existence of heretofore lost writings by James Fulton, father of Intuitionism, a giant of vertical thought. Books by Colson Whitehead.

The Intuitionist

I don’t know if enough people ituitionist read Vineland for that to be helpful in any way. Unfortunately, she is the only character with any depth.

Everyone wants to get their hands on those papers! He is promised an ally against his wife Indu, whom he regards with varying degrees of irritation, when his mother comes to visit. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. The big hook, the battle between the factions of the Guild, never really gets going.

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intuiitionist You might even think it sounds dull. Something had been troubling Cameron. He says, “decades ago, whitehed was the protest novel, and then there was ‘tell the untold story, find our unerased history. In fact, there’s so much literature on the topic that I’ve heard quite whiteheadd few times that there’s nothing left to say.

The time is uncertain, but it seems to run concurrently with that of The Maltese Falcon or Farewell My lovely. He soon finds, though, that maternal interference is far from helpful, and he receives comfort from an entirely unexpected quarter – his wife – as he discovers through her the joys of being a ‘settled husband and householder’.

From France to India, Germany to Japan, Arthur almost falls in love, almost falls to his death, and puts miles between him and the plight he refuses to face.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

An isolated Tuscan farmhouse on the edge of an ancient wood is the ituitionist setting for a late September holiday. It’s the summer ofthe year of love and hate, of Prague Spring and Cold War winter. Dec 07, Jonathon Hodge rated it it was amazing. View all 4 comments. Lila Mae inutitionist an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. Now, Lila Mae is building on this, taking us higher but in a different direction.


The competing school, the “Empiricists”, insists upon traditional instrument-based intuitionst of the condition of the elevator. Charles marked it as pass Shelves: Does she hold the key to what really happened? All that said, I still found myself underlining passages, excited that I will perhaps revisit them sometime when I need to know about elevator theory. If she is able to find and reveal his plan for the perfect, next-generation elevator, the city as it now exists may instantly become obsolescent.

What a weird book! Moving far beyond mere functionality, elevators are whitehwad both a rich field of study and a lucrative business. The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. When she first hears that she is the last descendent of the Chesterford family and that she has inherited a Real-Life Castle by the sea, Amelia can’t quite believe her ears.

The narrative is broken into two sections: Blacks certainly had no equality and the author makes the racism palpable in the characters that comprise the plot. Elevators and elevator inspectors are given the same level of awe that airplanes and pilots once had wbitehead our version of America.

whtiehead Dec 29, Maurice Ruffin rated it really liked it. I suppose what I mean is that the idea of the book is really a great one and Whitehead is at his best when he is describing the heady theories and schools of thought when it comes to elevator operation.