Major Black American Writers through the Harlem Renaissance

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

Richard Wright
1908-1960

RICHARD NATHANIEL WRIGHT was born on September 4, 1908, near Natchez, Mississippi, to a schoolteacher mother and an illiterate sharecropper father. His father abandoned the family when Wright was very young, and he was raised by his maternal grandmother. After ninth grade, he dropped out of school and moved to Memphis, then to Chicago and New York. He educated himself, and was particularly interested in literature, sociology, and psychology. In 1932 he joined the Communist party, and his literary career was encouraged by the Communist-affiliated John Reed Club. Much of his early writing appeared in leftist publications. He worked for the Federal Negro Theatre Project and the Federal Writers' Project; while associated with these organizations he published 12 Million Black Voices (1941), a Marxist analysis of the American class struggle. He was Harlem editor for the Daily Worker in New York. In 1938 he married Rose Dhima Meadman; they were later divorced, and Wright married Ellen Poplar, with whom he had two children. From 1947 until his death he lived in Paris.

Wright first came to the attention of the American reading public with the publication of Uncle Tom's Children: Four Novellas in 1938; the stories concern the struggles to maturity of oppressed black women and men. An augmented edition including the novelette "Bright and Morning Star" appeared in 1940. Wright's second book, Native Son (1940), was his major critical and popular breakthrough, and remains one of the most influential American novels of the twentieth century. It concerns the life and destruction of Bigger Thomas, a poor black youth from the slums of Chicago. Wright's evocative portrayal of a life of fear and enslavement struck a powerful chord with his readership, despite some critics' complaints that the latter third of the book is expository and slow-moving.

Though none of Wright's subsequent books had the immediate impact of Native Son, he was admired as a solid stylist and spokesman for the poor and oppressed. His later novels are The Outsider (1953), Savage Holiday (1954), The Long Dream (1958), and Lawd Today (1963). Eight Men, a

-170-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Major Black American Writers through the Harlem Renaissance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Major Black American Writers - Through the Harlem Renaissance *
  • Contents *
  • User's Guide vi
  • The Life of the Author vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Charles W. Chesnutt 1858-1932 1
  • Countee Cullen 1903-1946 17
  • Frederick Douglass 1818-1895 34
  • W. E. B. Du Bois 1868-1963 49
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906 68
  • Langston Hughes 1902-1967 85
  • Zora Neale Hurston C. 1891-1960 102
  • James Weldon Johnson 1871-1938 119
  • Claude Mckay 1890-1948 136
  • Jean Toomer 1894-1967 153
  • Richard Wright 1908-1960 170
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 187

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.