Eight Men: Short Stories

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Oct 9, 1996 - Fiction - 242 pages
10 Reviews
"Wright's unrelenting bleak landscape was not merely that of the Deep South, or of Chicago, but that of the world, of the human heart, " said James Baldwin, and here, in these powerful stories, Richard Wright takes readers into this landscape one again. "Eight Men" presents eight stories of black men living at violent odds with the white world around them. As they do in his classic novels, the themes here reflect Wright's views on racism and his fascination with what he called "the struggle of the individual in America.""All eight men and all eight stories stand as beautifully, pitifully, terribly true. Some readers will be shocked by it for it presents straightforwardly a brilliant Black American's point of view. Many more readers will be uplifted and encouraged by it....All the way through this is fine, sound, good, honorable writing rich with insight and understanding, even when occasionally twisted by sorrow." "--New York Times"
  

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Review: Eight Men: Short Stories

User Review  - Paddythemic - Goodreads

glad this was not my introduction to wright. he is way better than this material, which I believe he was pressed to finish. read uncle tom's children (shorts) instead. Read full review

Review: Eight Men: Short Stories

User Review  - Rebekah - Goodreads

One of the best short story collections I've read. Wright was such a profound and clearly ahead of his time writer. Very introspective and unrelenting in his quest to bury the truth down the reader's throat. Read full review

Contents

THE MAN WHO WAS ALMOST A MAN
3
THE MAN WHO LTVED UNDERGROUND
19
BIG BLACK GOOD MAN
85
THE MAN WHO SAW THE FLOOD
102
MAN GOD AINT LIKE THAT
155
THE MAN WHO KILLED A SHADOW
185
THE MAN WHO WENT TO CHICAGO
202
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Richard Wright was generally thought of as one of the most gifted contemporary African American writers until the rise of James Baldwin. "With Wright, the pain of being a Negro is basically economic---its sight is mainly in the pocket. With Baldwin, the pain suffuses the whole man. . . . If Baldwin's sights are higher than Wright's, it is in part because Wright helped to raise them" (Time). Wright was born on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper. At the age of 15, he started to work in Memphis, then in Chicago, then "bummed all over the country," supporting himself by various odd jobs. His early writing was in the smaller magazines---first poetry, then prose. He won Story Story's $500 prize---for the best story written by a worker on the Writer's Project---with "Uncle Tom's Children" in 1938, his first important publication. He wrote Native Son (1940) in eight months, and it made his reputation. Based in part on the actual case of a young black murderer of a white woman, it was one of the first of the African American protest novels, violent and shocking in its scenes of cruelty, hunger, rape, murder, flight, and prison. Black Boy (1945) is the simple, vivid, and poignant story of Wright's early years in the South. It appeared at the beginning of a new postwar awareness of the evils of racial prejudice and did much to call attention to the plight of the African American. The Outsider (1953) is a novel based on Wright's own experience as a member of the Communist party, an affiliation he terminated in 1944. He remained politically inactive thereafter and from 1946 until his death made his principal residence in Paris. His nonfiction writings on problems of his race include Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos (1954), about a visit to the Gold Coast, White Man, Listen (1957), and Twelve Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States.

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