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Hamptons Life

Sep 28, 2017 5:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Colson Whitehead, Julie Barer Buy In East Hampton

107 Swamp Road, East Hampton. COURTESY SOTHEBY'S
Oct 1, 2017 2:41 PM

Did the Underground Railroad ever stop on Swamp Road in East Hampton? Highly unlikely, but, as first reported by Behind the Hedges, the author of the award-winning novel with that title, Colson Whitehead, and his wife, literary agent Julie Barer, have just purchased a house on that tree-lined road that leads to the Northwest Woods section.

We’re told that the house is “set on two beautifully landscaped acres down a long private driveway” and the “minimalist European designed” abode is 4,000 square feet. The residence has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The living room features double-height ceilings and floor-to-ceiling Arcadia windows and doors that overlook a heated in-ground pool. The master bedroom has a marble bath and separate dressing room. We’re not certain of the purchase price, but the most recent ask was $2,250,000. No doubt the couple will take full advantage of not one but two offices lined with bookshelves.

Mr. Whitehead is more associated with Sag Harbor than East Hampton because his family summered there for many years, and his novel “Sag Harbor” is a thinly veiled memoir about growing up in the African-American section of the village. His first novel—after graduating from Harvard College and a stint as a reviewer at the Village Voice—was “The Intuitionist,” which received the PEN/Hemingway Award. There have been several novels since, but the most recent one, “The Underground Railroad,” launched Mr. Whitehead into the upper realm of American authors. It won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for fiction last year. We’ll wager that helping to pay for the new Swamp Road digs is that Barry Jenkins, director of “Moonlight,” and Brad Pitt’s Plan B are teaming up to produce an Amazon miniseries based on the book.

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