Richard Wright: The Life and Times

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University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 644 pages
2 Reviews
Consistently an outsider—a child of the fundamentalist South with an eighth-grade education, a self-taught intellectual, a black man married to a white woman—Richard Wright nonetheless became the unparalleled voice of his time. The first full-scale biography of the author best known for his searing novels Black Boy and Native Son, Richard Wright: The Life and Times brings the man and his work—in all their complexity and distinction—to vibrant life. Acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley chronicles Wright’s unprecedented journey from a sharecropper’s shack in Mississippi to Chicago’s South Side to international renown as a writer and outspoken critic of racism.
            Drawing on journals, letters, and eyewitness accounts, Richard Wright probes the author’s relationships with Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, his attraction to Communism, and his so-called exile in France. Skillfully interweaving quotes from Wright’s own writings, Rowley deftly portrays a passionate, courageous, and flawed man who would become one of our most enduring literary figures.
 
“Splendid. . . . Richard Wright is well written, prodigiously researched, and nicely paced, a compelling evocation of the man, his craft, and the different worlds through which he moved.”—Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal
 
“A welcome and illuminating work . . . [Rowley] does an outstanding job. . . . Rich and revealing.”—Megan Harlan, San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A magnificent biography, subtle and insightful. . . . Rowley writes with style and grace, and her research on Wright is prodigious.”—Howard Zinn, The Week
 
  

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Richard Wright: the life and times

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Richard Wright's story is already well known: a young black man, who grew up on a poor sharecropper's farm in Mississippi amid the terrifying violence of the segregationist South, goes to Chicago ... Read full review

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i love this book so much i want my own copy of this book

Contents

Mississippi
1
The whisper of liberty
28
The south side of chicago
50
Words as weapons
74
Bastard intellectual
88
Crossing the divide
102
Change of fortune
125
Grappling with bigger
150
PREPARING TO LEAVE
315
CROSSING THE ATLANTIC
330
EXPATRIATES
348
ARGENTINA
374
EXISTENTIAL DREAD
400
JOURNEY TO THE GOLD COAST
416
FROM BULL FIGHTS TO BANDUNG
438
THE LONELY OUTSIDERS
462

Marriage
163
Fame
179
Cuernavaca
195
The drama of native son
213
Ellen Poplowitz
226
The weathercock turns
249
Wartime brooklyn
266
A TROUBLINGLY DELICATE MATTER
284
DAILY LIFE
299
I AM NOBODY
481
STEPPING OFF THIS OLD EARTH
508
E P I L O G U E
527
N O T E S
529
S E L E C T E D B I B L I O G R A P H Y
593
A N O T E O N P R I M A R Y S O U R C E S
597
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S
601
I N D E X
605
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About the author (2008)

Hazel Rowley is the author of, most recently, Tęte-ŕ-Tęte: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, which has been translated into twelve languages. During the writing of this book, she was a fellow at the Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard, a Rockefeller fellow at the University of Iowa, and a Bunting fellow at Radcliffe College, Harvard University.    

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