The intuitionist

A Novel

255 pages

English language

Published Oct. 29, 2000 by Anchor Books.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (5 reviews)

Who tampered with the elevator?

The mundane job of elevator inspection becomes a mysterious tale of intrigue. Whitehead weaves a beautiful narrative featuring an independent protagonist who elevates herself from the racism she faces in this noir mystery.

2 editions

Review of 'The intuitionist' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I didn't expect to enjoy a book about elevators so much. But then it's really not about elevators. It's in large part about race, about different forms of seeing and experiencing the world, all wrapped up in a compelling mystery.

It's a critique of kinds of knowledge that proclaim themselves as absolute and the bearers of truth, especially when that knowledge is used to uphold forms of oppression. It's a gesture towards other forms of being and knowing, ones that at times elude detection by the powers that be as a means of survival or marronage and at others confront them head on, empowered to create a new world.

It's engaging, accessible, empathic, surprising, and witty. And also talks a lot about elevators.

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  • African Americans -- Fiction
  • African American women -- Fiction
  • Elevators -- Inspection -- Fiction