Black Boy
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Black Boy

4.04 (42,968 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'In Black Boy I found expressed, for the first time in my life, the sorrow, the rage, and the murderous bitterness which was eating up my life and lives of those around me. [Richard Wright's] work was an immense liberation and revelation for me. He became my ally and my witness, and alas! my father' - James Baldwin

At four years of age, Richard Wright set fire to his home; at five his father deserted the family; by six Richard was - - temporarily - an alcoholic. Moved from home to home, from brick tenement to orphanage, he had had, by the age of twelve, only one year's formal education. It was in saloons, railroad yards and streets that he learned the facts about life under white subjection, about fear, hunger and hatred. Gradually he learned to play Jim Crow in order to survive in a world of white hostility, secretly satisfying his craving for books and knowledge until the time came when he could follow his dream of justice and opportunity in the north.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 17mm | 192g
  • Vintage Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0099285061
  • 9780099285069
  • 70,164

Back cover copy

'A compelling indictment of life in the Deep South between the wars' Daily Telegraph

At four years of age, Richard Wright set fire to his home; at five his father deserted the family; by six Richard was - ­ temporarily - an alcoholic. Moved from home to home, he had had, by the age of twelve, only one year's formal education. It was in saloons, railroad yards and streets that he learned the facts about life under white subjection, about fear, hunger and hatred. Gradually he learned to survive in a world of white hostility, secretly satisfying his craving for books and knowledge until the time came when he could follow his dream of justice and opportunity in the north.

See also: Native Son
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Review Text

"A compelling indictment of life in the Deep South between the wars"
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Review quote

"Before he was 40, Wright dominated literary America, publishing four books in seven years, each a triumph in its genre. His first novel, Native Son (1940), sold at the rate of 2,000 copies a day, making Wright the first best-selling black writer in the country's history. Black Boy (1945), his memoir of his Southern childhood, was a bigger success, selling more than a half-million copies" * New York Times * "A compelling indictment of life in the Deep South between the wars" * Daily Telegraph * "An angry chronicle of a bright black rebel growing up in the Jim Crow southlands: a landmark in the literature of Black America" * The Times *
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About Richard Wright

Richard Wright was born near Natchez, Mississippi, in 1908. As a child he lived in Memphis, Tennessee, then in an orphanage, and with various relatives. He left home at fifteen and returned to Memphis for two years to work, and in 1934 went to Chicago, where in 1935, he began to work on the Federal Writers' Project. He published Uncle Tom's Children in 1938 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the following year. After the Second World War, he went to live in Paris with his wife and daughters, remaining there until his death in 1960.
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Rating details

42,968 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 37% (16,051)
4 37% (16,046)
3 19% (8,190)
2 5% (1,934)
1 2% (747)
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