Whitehead's reading comes on the heels of the publication of his fourth novel, "Sag Harbor," a coming-of-age story about upper-middle-class African American teenagers hanging out in Sag Harbor, Long Island, during the summer of 1985. An excerpt from the novel was published in December in The New Yorker.
Whitehead was born in 1969 and raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at The Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books and music.
His first novel, "The Intuitionist" (1999), concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award.
"John Henry Days" (2001) followed and was an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. It received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
In 2002, Whitehead received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship ("Genius Grant"), awarded "to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits."
A book of essays about New York City, "The Colossus of New York", published the following year, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. "Apex Hides the Hurt" (2006), a novel about a "nomenclature consultant" who gets an assignment to name a town, was a recipient of the PEN/Oakland Award.
In addition to The New Yorker, Whitehead's reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta.
City Tech's literary festival will also feature readings by students and by poet and City Tech English Professor George Guida. The evening will include a performance by Brooklyn band Kaleta-Zozo Afrobeat.