9 Best Richard Wright Books

Richard Wright Books: Richard Nathaniel Wright was an American author of novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially related to the plight of African Americans during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, who suffered discrimination and violence in the South and the North. We hope that you enjoy our list of the best Richard Wright Books.

Richard Wright Books

Native Son Jun 3, 2009 by Richard Wright

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, Richard 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.

This edition of Native Son includes an essay by Wright titled, How “Bigger” was Born, along with notes on the text.

Black Boy [Seventy-fifth Anniversary Edition] Feb 18, 2020 by Richard Wright , John Edgar Wideman

When it exploded onto the literary scene in 1945, Black Boy was both praised and condemned. Orville Prescott of the New York Times wrote that “if enough such books are written, if enough millions of people read them maybe, someday, in the fullness of time, there will be a greater understanding and a more true democracy.” Yet from 1975 to 1978, Black Boy was banned in schools throughout the United States for “obscenity” and “instigating hatred between the races.”

Uncle Tom's Children (P.S.) Jun 16, 2009 by Richard Wright

Originally published in 1938, Uncle Tom’s Children, a collection of novellas, was the first book from Richard Wright, who would go on to win international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the Black experience. The author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, most notably the acclaimed novel Native Son and his stunning autobiography, Black Boy, Wright stands today as one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century.

Set in the American Deep South, each of the powerful and devastating stories in Uncle Tom’s Children concerns an aspect of the lives of Black people in the post-slavery era, exploring their resistance to white racism and oppression. The collection also includes a personal essay by Wright titled “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.”

Black Power: Three Books from Exile: Black Power; The Color Curtain; and White Man, Listen! Jul 1, 2010 by Richard Wright

Originally published in 1954, Richard Wright’s Black Power is 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 White Man, Listen!, a stirring collection of Wright’s essays on race, politics, and other essential social concerns (“Deserves to be read with utmost seriousness”-New York Times), and The Color Curtain, 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)

Savage Holiday Nov 1, 2019 by Richard Wright

Savage Holiday, first published in 1954 by noted American author Richard Wright, is a tense, well-written psychological thriller about Erskine Fowler, an insurance executive forced into early retirement, who, over the course of a bizarre weekend, is responsible for the accidental death of his neighbor’s young son. Tragic consequences follow as Fowler attempts to redeem himself and is forced to question his own life, as events spiral out-of-control to their inevitable conclusion.

The Outsider Jun 3, 2009 by Richard Wright

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. The Outsider is an important work of fiction that depicts American racism and its devastating consequences in raw and unflinching terms. Brilliantly imagined and frighteningly prescient, it is an epic exploration of the tragic roots of criminal behavior.

Pagan Spain Apr 23, 2010 by Richard Wright

The Spain Richard Wright 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 in Pagan Spain 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. 

A Father's Law Oct 16, 2008 by Richard Wright

In rough form, Wright expands the style of a crime thriller to grapple with themes of race, class, and generational conflicts as newly appointed police chief Ruddy Turner begins to suspect his own son, Tommy, a student at the University of Chicago, of a series of murders in Brentwood Park. Under pressure to solve the killings and prove himself, Turner spirals into an obsession that forces him to confront his ambivalent relationship with a son he struggles to understand.

A Review of the Missionary Life and Labors of Richard Wright May 8, 2018 by Richard Wright

This is a reproduction of a classic text optimised for kindle devices. We have endeavoured to create this version as close to the original artefact as possible. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we believe they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy

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