Vintage Minis



How to go on in a world where everything is set against you? With hope? In fear? Or, in violent struggle? In this gripping and disturbing book, Richard Wright weaves his own childhood recollections with those of Bigger Thomas - a young black man trapped in a life of poverty in the slums of Chicago, and unwittingly involved in a wealthy woman's death - to paint a portrait of insurmountable oppression. Through the strange pride Bigger takes in his crime, Wright brings us to confront the systems of justice we blindly assume are always on our side.

Selected from the books Black Boy and Native Son by Richard Wright

About the author

Richard Wright

Richard Wright was born near Natchez, Mississippi, in 1908, to a sharecropping family of ex-­slaves. His mother was a schoolteacher but, abandoned by her husband, she had to resort to menial jobs to feed her two sons before suffering a series of strokes. During a childhood scarred by hunger, Wright lived in Memphis, Tennessee, then in an orphanage, and with various relatives. He left home at fifteen, returned to Memphis for two years to work, and in 1934 went to Chicago where he was employed at the Post Office before beginning work at the Federal Writers' Project in 1935. He published Uncle Tom's Children in 1938 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship the following year. His other books include Native Son (1940), his autobiography, Black Boy (1945), and The Outsider (1953). After the war, Richard Wright chose expatriation and went to live in Paris with his family, remaining there until his death in 1960.
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