Richard Wright: The Life and Times by Hazel RowleyRichard Wright: The Life and Times by Hazel Rowley

Richard Wright: The Life and Times

byHazel Rowley

Paperback | February 15, 2008

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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.
“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

Hazel Rowley is the author of, most recently, Tête-à-Tête: 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 o...
Title:Richard Wright: The Life and TimesFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:638 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.5 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 1.5 inPublished:February 15, 2008Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226730387

ISBN - 13:9780226730387


Table of Contents


   1.  Mississippi
   2.  The Whisperer of Liberty
   3.  The South Side of Chicago
   4.  Words as Weapons
   5.  Bastard Intellectual
   6.  Crossing the Divide
   7.  Change of Fortune
   8.  Grappling with Bigger
   9.  Marriage
   10. Fame
   11. Cuernavaca
   12. Backstage and Onstage: The Drama of Native Son
   13. Ellen Poplowitz
   14. The Weathercock Turns
   15. Wartime Brooklyn
   16. A Troublingly Delicate Matter
   17. Daily Life
   18. Preparing to Leave
   19. Crossing the Atlantic
   20. Expatriates
   21. Argentina
   22. Existential Dread
   23. Journey to the Gold Coast
   24. From Bullfights to Lonely
   25. The Lonley Outsiders
   26. "I Am Nobody"
   27. Stepping Off This Earth

   Selected Bibliography
   A Note on the Primary Sources

Editorial Reviews

"Rowley has produced the definitive Wright biography. . . . Rowley's work is everything a literary biography should be: a rich, impeccably detailed rendering of the historical and biographical circumstances surrounding a writer's work. Critics and teachers of Wright will find Rowley's work indispensable. Through her careful research . . . Rowley offers readers new facets of Wright as a writer and person, demonstrating above all the heavy toll that Wright's heroic, groundbreaking anti-racism took on his financial, political, aned psychological well-being."