Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
A Novel

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Synopsis

The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. The resident software millionaire wants to call it New Prospera; the mayor wants to return to the original choice of the founding black settlers; and the town’s aristocracy sees no reason to change the name at all. What they need, they realize, is a nomenclature consultant. And, it turns out, the consultant needs them. But in a culture overwhelmed by marketing, the name is everything and our hero’s efforts may result in not just a new name for the town but a new and subtler truth about it as well.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Colson Whitehead

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COLSON WHITEHEAD is the author of the national best seller Sag Harbor and the novels The Intui tionist, John Henry Days, and Apex Hides the Hurt, as well as The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays. A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a MacArthur Fellowship, he lives in New York City.
 
Published January 9, 2007 by Anchor. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Apex Hides the Hurt

Kirkus Reviews

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A rose by any other name would smell rotten, or so suggests the high-priced “nomenclature consultant” who serves as the protagonist for this allegory about how branding has become such a crucial signifier of meaning in America (and providing names has become a lucrative enterprise, in this novel ...

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The New York Times

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At times, our hero believes people are ultimately nameable — "We spent our lives trying to keep our true names inside and hidden" — yet the examples he gives ("Liar," "Bed Wetter," "Romantic," "Failure") are so superficial that they belie any notion of human complexity.

Apr 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Following the novels The Intuitionist (1998) and John Henry Days (2001), and the nonfiction The Colossus of New York (2004), a paean to New York City, Whitehead disappoints in this intriguingly conceived but static tale of a small town with an identity crisis.

Jan 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

Book Reporter

In Colson Whitehead's new novel, APEX HIDES THE HURT, he suggests that names are tied to identity and fate, and to the way we understand and make sense of the world around us.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

AV Club

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Forces vie for his favor, including an eccentric heir to the Winthrop family, a mayor descended from the town's original freed slave settlers, and a businessman with a genius for self-promotion who wants a name to match his vision for the town's 21st-century existence.

Apr 26 2006 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

USA Today

No novelist writing today is more engaging and entertaining when it comes to questions of race, class and commercial culture than Colson Whitehead.Whitehead's third novel, Apex Hides the Hurt, is a mystery, racial allegory and satire on corporate life and marketing.He packs a lot into 212 pages a...

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PopMatters

Regina Goode, descendent of the freed slaves who originally founded the town, wants the town to be named Freedom, the name the ex-slaves chose before Winthrop moved in.

Mar 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Ariel Gonzalez Hartford Courant 3 of 5 Stars "It is part allegory, part meditation on race and identity, and part satirical look at the America’s obsession with marketing.

Aug 28 2007 | Read Full Review of Apex Hides the Hurt: A Novel

Reader Rating for Apex Hides the Hurt
69%

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