From Illinois Authors
Pen Name: None
Born: September 4, 1908 in Rucker's Plantation, twenty miles east of Natchez, Mississippi
Died: November 28, 1960 in Paris, France - buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection [van5a52815]
Wright moved to Chicago in 1927. He worked at the U.S. Post office in Chicago during the 1920`s and the Works Progress Adminintration Federal Writer`s Project in Chicago 1935-1937. While he lived in Chicago only about 10 years, it was in Chicago where he began a significant literary career focused on examining race relations in the 20th century.
Biographical and Professional Information
Richard Wright was an African-American author of novels, short stories and non-fiction. He is considered to be the most important African American writer of his time as his work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century. Born near Natchez, Mississippi, Wright resided in Chicago, Paris and New York.
His famous novel, Native Son, is set in Chicago and considered to be one of the best novels about the African American experience.
- Uncle Tom’s Children: Four Novellas, Harper, 1938
- Uncle Tom’s Children: Five Long Stories, Harper, 1938
- Native Son, Harper, 1940
- How “Bigger” Was Born; the Story of Native Son, Harper, 1940
- 12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States, Viking, 1941
- Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth, Harper, 1945
- The Outsider, Harper, 1953
- Savage Holiday, Avon, 1954
- Black Power, A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos, Harper, 1954
- The Color Curtain, A Report on the Bandung Conference, World, 1956
- Pagan Spain, Harper, 1957
- White Man, Listen!, Doubleday, 1957
- The Long Dream, Doubleday, 1958
- Eight Men (stories), World, 1961
- Lawd Today, Avon, 1963
- Letters to Joe C. Brown,Edited by Thomas Knipp, Kent State University Libraries, 1968
- Daddy Goodness (Play) , Produced Off-Broadway, 1968
- The Man Who Lived Underground, Aubier-Flammarion, 1971
- American Hunger (Autobiography), Harper, 1977
- Rite of Passage, Harper Collins, 1994
Titles for Purchase and at Your Library
Uncle Tom's Children
Release Date: 2003-12-23
Release Date: 2003-07-29
The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference (Banner Books)
Release Date: 1995-01
Lawd Today! (Northeastern Library of Black Literature)
Release Date: 1986-11-15
Rite of Passage
Release Date: 1994-01
Richard Wright received several different literary awards during his lifetime including the Spingarn Medal in 1941 and the Story Magazine Award.
In 1990, his name was engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures.
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