The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead (Anchor Books, 2000) has been around for a few years, but this debut novel by Mr. Whitehead should not be ignored by those who have missed its delights. In an urban alternative universe, we have a mystery revolving around an elevator accident pitching the Department of Elevator Inspectors into a turmoil of debate as its Empiricists face off against its Intuitionists. This debate is the base for a slyly humorous meditation on race, politics, morality, and careerism. The hero of the tale, Lila Mae Watson, is the unnamed city’s first Black elevator inspector. Her stellar accuracy rate has been besmirched, and she must go underground to investigate. Read and enjoy!

– M.W.