Native Son

Front Cover
HarperCollins, 1940 - Fiction - 504 pages
53 Reviews
With an introduction by Arnold Rampersad

"The Library of America has insured that most of Wright's major texts are now available as he wanted them to be read."
--Alfred Kazin, New York Times Book Review

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny: by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection of the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

"This new edition gives us a Native Son in which the key line in the key scene is restored to the great good fortune of American letters. The scene as we now have it is central both to an ongoing conversation among African-American writers and critics and to the consciousness among all American readers of what it means to live in a multi-racial society in which power splits among racial lines."
--Jack Miles, Los Angeles Times

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User Review  - electrascaife - LibraryThing

Powerful, tense, and moving, this story of a young black man in 1950's Chicago stumbling from a life of petty crimes into one of a wanted and then convicted murderer via a series of tragically bad ... Read full review

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User Review  - Scott_Hercher - LibraryThing

Provocative and entertaining, Native Son by Richard Wright, should be required reading. Wright uses words like razors, and the dialogue often reads with the urgency of a great pulp novel. In between ... Read full review

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About the author (1940)

Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his novels, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. He died in 1960.

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