By Robert Felgar
Born in rural Mississippi, the grandson of slaves, Richard Wright overcame every social obstacle, including poverty, racism, and limited education to achieve literary recognition as the creator of some of America's most powerful Black literature. Written with unprecedented candor, Wright's works changed the cultural landscape by challenging old stereotypes and myths about race. Wright scholar Robert Felgar has written a critical volume to help students appreciate the literary significance of such groundbreaking works as Native Son and the autobiographical Black Boy. This study serves students of both literature and social history as it explores the themes of racism and all types of institutionalized oppression that Wright exposed in his provocative writing. Felgar approaches each of Wright's major works in chronological order, offering insightful literary analysis of Uncle Tom's Children, Native Son, Black Boy, and The Outsider, as well as Wright's two works published posthumously, Eight Men, a collection of stories, and Lawd Today! The original, censored works are discussed and compared with the more recently republished unexpurgated versions.
- Westport, CT