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Colson Whitehead takes on the zombie apocalypse in 'Zone One'


(AP/Doubleday/Natasha Stovall)

Author Colson Whitehead has covered a variety of subjects in his novels: elevator inspectors, nomenclature consultants, and the mythical figure John Henry. With his latest novel, Zone One, he can now add zombies to that list.

Inspired by his life in Manhattan and childhood love of horror films, Zone One is set in post-apocalyptic New York City, where a plague is ravaging and nearly all of the population has been turned into zombies. Among the few survivors is Mark Spitz (no, not the Olympic swimmer; the nickname was given to him after the zombies took over), who is part of a paramilitary team searching for zombies and tasked with restoring and securing civilization as we know it.

The book has earned rave reviews from critics - especially regarding its shocking twist ending — since its release back in October; a paperback edition was released ealier this week. Whitehead will be discussing and signing copies of Zone One tonight at the Harold Washington Library Center at 6 p.m.

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