The Underground Railroad
Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. New York: Doubleday, 2016. Also available as an audiobook.
This is a historical novel as slave narrative, set in a United States on a timeline a few over from ours. Relevant here, in that in this United States the machinery of slavery and cotton production remains a metaphor (except for the cotton gin, offstage), but "the underground railroad" has crucial sections literally underground and a railroad: a stripped-down railroad but with locomotives and a small variety of cars, and a handcar.
Usefully reviewed (with an illustration of the underground railroad) by Juan Gabriel Vásquez in The New York Times on line.
RDE, Initial Compiler, 16May19