Zone One by Colson Whitehead is a fast paced journey through the streets of post-apocalyptic New York City. This book includes the jumps, scares, and carnage that you might expect from a story about zombies, but it reaches well beyond the typical limitations of the sub-genre. Zone One is set after the initial invasion of the undead, with particular focus on the efforts of the survivors who fight to reclaim the city. The main character, Mark Spitz, must survive in a dangerous place while leading a small team in their assignment of securing city blocks one by one. They make slow progress as the threats of violence and death grow ominously around their position.
Colson Whitehead has demonstrated a broad range in his talent as an author of both fiction and non-fiction. His recent novels include The Underground Railroad (2017) and The Nickel Boys (2019), each winning a Pulitzer Prize among other accolades. At the time of publication in 2011, Zone One was an early example of Whitehead’s singular ability to reach and inspire a wider audience than many authors of literary fiction. Zone One is a unique, unforgettable flavor of literary fiction. It is equal parts thriller, satire, and sociopolitical commentary thoroughly blended to a consistency that is uniquely Colson Whitehead.