Richard Wright: The Life and Times

Richard Wright: The Life and Times


By (author) Hazel Rowley

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 638 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 231mm x 30mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 11 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226730387
  • ISBN 13: 9780226730387
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 373,352

Product description

Consistently an outsider - a child of the fundamentalist South with an eighth-grade education, a self-taught intellectual, a black man married to a white woman - Richard Wright nonetheless became the unparalleled voice of his time. The first full-scale biography of the author best known for his searing novels Black Boy and Native Son, Richard Wright: The Life and Times brings the man and his work - in all their complexity and distinction - to vibrant life. Acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley chronicles Wright's unprecedented journey from a sharecropper's shack in Mississippi to Chicago's South Side to international renown as a writer and outspoken critic of racism.Drawing on journals, letters, and eyewitness accounts, Richard Wright probes the author's relationships with Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, his attraction to Communism, and his so-called exile in France. Skillfully interweaving quotes from Wright's own writings, Rowley deftly portrays a passionate, courageous, and flawed man who would become one of our most enduring literary figures.

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Author information

Hazel Rowley is the author of, most recently, Tete-a-Tete: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, which has been translated into twelve languages. During the writing of this book, she was a fellow at the Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard, a Rockefeller fellow at the University of Iowa, and a Bunting fellow at Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Review quote

"Splendid....Richard Wright is well written, prodigiously researched, and nicely paced, a compelling evocation of the man, his craft, and the different worlds through which he moved." - Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal "A welcome and illuminating work....[Rowley] does an outstanding job....Rich and revealing." - Megan Harlan, San Francisco Chronicle "A magnificent biography, subtle and insightful....Rowley writes with style and grace, and her research on Wright is prodigious." - Howard Zinn, The Week "In her excellent, entirely readable Richard Wright, Hazel Rowley accomplishes what [previous biographer] Michel Fabre would have liked to do with once-guarded letters, aging witnesses, previously unidentified girlfriends....Mostly, Rowley concentrates on telling Wright's very powerful story." - Darryl Pinckney, New York Review of Books "Engrossing from the first page to the last." - Washington Post Book World"