Richard Wright (1908–1960)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch22

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Richard Wright (1908–1960), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch22

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Richard Wright (1908–1960), career - two parts, years up to 1946 he lived and wrote in the United States;
  • Wright, describing in his autobiography, Black Boy - subterfuge, to obtain books he wanted to read from the public library;
  • Wright, his self-directed reading - moving to Chicago in 1927;
  • New York, Wright working as Harlem editor of communist paper Daily Worker - short stories, his first book publication, Uncle Tom's Children (1938);
  • Wright's Native Son (1940), producing a book - sentimental response of readers to the central figures in Uncle Tom's Children;
  • the book, universally recognized - as a pioneer work in black American writing for its frank, uncompromising indictment of effects of racial oppression;
  • Wright, using his name and influence - in helping younger black writers, as James Baldwin, Chester Himes and Gwendolyn Brooks;
  • Savage Holiday (1954), more Freudian - in its treatment of character and motive;
  • Wright, finding a paperback publisher - for novel in the United States, little reviewed, well received in Europe;
  • Wright, and his writing - on the emerging Third World colonies


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography