Richard Wright

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General Information

Wright Richard.jpg
Name: Richard Wright

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]

Illinois Connection

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.

Published Works

  • 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 at Your Library

Uncle Tom's Children

ISBN: 0060587148
Release Date: 2003-12-23

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Native Son (Perennial Classics)

ISBN: 006083756X
Release Date: 2005-08-02

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12 Million Black Voices

ISBN: 1560254467
Release Date: 2002-12-16

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Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth

ISBN: 0060834005
Release Date: 2005-11-29

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The Outsider

ISBN: 0060539259
Release Date: 2003-07-29

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The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference (Banner Books)

ISBN: 0878057471
Release Date: 1995-01

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Pagan Spain

ISBN: 0061450197
Release Date: 2008-02-05

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White Man, Listen!

ISBN: 0313205337
Release Date: 1978-11-06

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Lawd Today! (Northeastern Library of Black Literature)

ISBN: 0930350995
Release Date: 1986-11-15

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American Hunger

ISBN: 0060147687
Release Date: 1977

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Rite of Passage

ISBN: 0060234199
Release Date: 1994-01

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Literary Awards

Richard Wright received several different literary awards during his lifetime including the Spingarn Medal in 1941 and the Story Magazine Award.

Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990

External Links

Richard Wright on WorldCat

Mississippi Writers Page: Richard Wright

Modern American Poetry: Richard Wright


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