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American Hunger, published posthumously in 1977, was originally intended as the second volume of Black Boy.
Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi, with poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot. Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment-a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
Originally published in 1954, Richard Wright's Black Power is an extraordinary nonfiction work by one of America's premier literary giants of the twentieth century. An impassioned chronicle of the author's trip to Africa's Gold Coast before it became the free nation of Ghana, it speaks eloquently of empowerment and possibility, and resonates loudly to this day. Also included in this omnibus edition are two nonfiction works Wright produced around the time of Black Power. White Man, Listen! is a stirring collection of his essays on race, politics, and other essential social concerns ("Deserves to be read with utmost seriousness"-New York Times). The Color Curtain is an indispensable work urging the removal of the color barrier. It remains one of the key commentaries on the question of race in the modern era. ("Truth-telling will perhaps always be unpopular and suspect, but in The Color Curtain, as in all his later nonfiction, Wright did not hesitate to tell the truth as he saw it."-Amritjit Singh, Ohio University)
In a small town in Canada, Clara Callan reluctantly takes leave of her sister, Nora, who is bound for New York. It's a time when the growing threat of fascism in Europe is a constant worry, and people escape from reality through radio and the movies. Meanwhile, the two sisters -- vastly different in personality, yet inextricably linked by a shared past -- try to find their places within the complex web of social expectations for young women in the 1930s. While Nora embarks on a glamorous career as a radio-soap opera star, Clara, a strong and independent-minded woman, struggles to observe the traditional boundaries of a small and tight-knit community without relinquishing her dreams of love, freedom, and adventure. However, things aren't as simple as they appear -- Nora's letters eventually reveal life in the big city is less exotic than it seems, and the tranquil solitude of Clara's life is shattered by a series of unforeseeable events. These twists of fate require all of Clara's courage and strength, and finally put the seemingly unbreakable bond between the sisters to the test.
Eight short stories about eight black men. It would be difficult to imagine a volume of short stories more multifaceted in time, place and variety of characterization; the mood and treatment move from tough, tender depiction of adolescent boys to the agony of jungle Africans grappling with Christianity.
Never before published, the final work of one of America's greatest writers A Father's Law is the novel Richard Wright, acclaimed author of Black Boy and Native Son, never completed. Written during a six-week period near the end of his life, it appears in print for the first time, an important addition to this American master's body of work, submitted by his daughter and literary executor, Julia, who writes: It comes from his guts and ends at the hero's "breaking point." It explores many themes favored by my father like guilt and innocence, the difficult relationship between the generations, the difficulty of being a black policeman and father, the difficulty of being both those things and suspecting that your own son is the murderer. It intertwines astonishingly modern themes for a novel written in 1960. Prescient, raw, powerful, and fascinating, A Father's Law is the final gift from a literary giant.
On a weekend visit, Farris's 12-year-old son is murdered; he tries to cope, and eventually takes revenge on his son's killer.
Set in 1930s Chicago, this novel is about one day in the unhappy life of a black Chicago postal worker.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Cross Damon is a man at odds with society and with himself-a man of superior intellect who hungers for peace but who brings terror and destruction wherever he goes. From Richard Wright, one of the most powerful, acclaimed, and essential American authors of the twentieth century, comes a compelling story of a black man's attempt to escape his past and start anew in Harlem. The Outsider is an important work of fiction that depicts American racism and its devastating consequences in raw and unflinching terms. At once brilliantly imagined and frighteningly prescient, it is an epic exploration of the tragic roots of criminal behavior.
A master chronicler of the African-American experience, Richard Wright brilliantly expanded his literary horizons with Pagan Spain, originally published in 1957. The Spain he visited in the mid-twentieth century was not the romantic locale of song and story, but a place of tragic beauty and dangerous contradictions. The portrait he offers is a blistering, powerful, yet scrupulously honest depiction of a land and people in turmoil, caught in the strangling dual grip of cruel dictatorship and what Wright saw as an undercurrent of primitive faith. An amalgam of expert travel reportage, dramatic monologue, and arresting sociological critique, Pagan Spain serves as a pointed and still-relevant commentary on the grave human dangers of oppression and governmental corruption.
"Harlem. The late 1940s. Fifteen-year-old Johnny Gibbs loves his parents, respects his teachers, and is a model student. Suddenly, his familiar world falls apart. Johnny learns he is really a foster child who the welfare authorities have decreed now must go and live with another family." "Stunned by the revelation, Johnny runs away. The startling events that follow, during Johnny's nightlong confrontation with alienation and loneliness, will inexorably push him past the frontiers of childhood and into an unknown, violent world beyond." "Rite of Passage, Richard Wright's never-before-published story of Johnny Gibbs's fall from grace, is as pertinent to the fate of many young people today as it was when it was first conceived nearly fifty years ago."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Set in the American Deep South, each of the powerful novellas collected in this book concerns an aspect of the lives of black people in the post-slavery era, exploring their resistance to white racism and oppression.