Colson Whitehead and Dan Kois for HARLEM SHUFFLE *In-Person*

Join Loyalty Bookstores and DC Public Library for a special in-person event for Harlem Shuffle with Colson Whitehead and Dan Kois! This event will be happening in person at DCPL's MLK Library location. * The event list for in-person attendance is full, but Click here to join the waitlist. The event will also be livestreamed via DCPL's YouTube channel. * (Due to a scheduling conflict, Jason Reynolds is no longer able to join us for this event, but we're so excited to have Dan Kois as Colson Whitehead's conversation partner!)

Note that registration does not guarantee a seat. As this is an after-hours event, participants will not be admitted after 7:30 p.m. Proof of vaccination and face masks are required for all attendees. A limited number of free copies of the book will be available on a first come, first served basis, and you can purchase the book from Loyalty or borrow a copy from DCPL. Please email  with any questions.


NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

"Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked..." To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. 

Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time. 

Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn't ask questions, either. 

Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa—the "Waldorf of Harlem"—and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes. 

Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? 

Harlem Shuffle's ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. 

But mostly, it's a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.


Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, which in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as The Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. He lives in New York City.


Dan Kois is a writer at Slate and the author of Facing FutureHow to Be a Family, and (with Isaac Butler) The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of "Angels in America." His novel Vintage Contemporaries will be published by Harper in 2023.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during virtual or in-person events. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385545136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - September 14th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
The Nickel Boys: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804341
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - June 30th, 2020

The Underground Railroad: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - January 30th, 2018

How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together Cover Image
Available to order- email
ISBN: 9780316552622
Availability: Not In Store - Available to Special Order
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 17th, 2019

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Cover Image
Available to order- email
ISBN: 9781635572988
Availability: Special Order
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 7th, 2020