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If you’re looking for a rapid-paced, thrilling zombie story, then Colson Whitehead’s Zone One may not be for you. In his latest novel, the author keeps the chills at arm’s length in favor of a Whiteheadian dive into metaphor. Just as his debut The Intuitionist is about elevators, and also about race, and also about gender, and still not about any of those things, Zone One’s narrator Mark Spitz is nearly unknowable until the end, and zombies stand in for all the people you think you know but ultimately don’t know at all. In a story that spans three days, a single detail is stretched like ribbon candy that curls into more and more information until you arrive at its point—which, again, may not be the point at all. Patience is required, but the tale is worth the wait.

Whitehead discusses and signs his book at 1 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.