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Cover for Richard Wright

Richard Wright

The Life and Times

Hazel Rowley


List Price: 18.00*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/15/2008)


"Writing," Richard Wright once said, "is my way of being a free man." In this engaging biography, Hazel Rowley chronicles Wright's extraordinary journey from a sharecropper's shack in Mississippi to international renown as a writer, fiercely independent thinker, and outspoken critic of racism.

Skillfully interweaving quotations from Wright's writings, Rowley portrays a man who transcended the times in which he lived and sought to reconcile opposing cultures in his work. She draws on recently discovered material to shed new light on Wright's relationships with Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and others, and on his self-imposed exile in France (widely blamed for his so-called decline as a writer). In this lively, finely crafted narrative, Wright -- passionate, complex, courageous, and flawed -- comes vibrantly to life.

Praise For Richard Wright: The Life and Times

"The strength of Richard Wright is [Rowley's] painstaking research. Rowley . . . has a daunting dedication to primary sources and her documentation is meticulous."--The New York Times Book Review

"A welcome and illuminating work . . . [Rowley] does an outstanding job placing Wright within the social and political contexts of the many worlds through which he moved . . . Rich and revealing."--San Francisco Chronicle

A full-scale biography of the author of Black Boy and Native Son that is "thorough and engrossing from the first page to the last" --The Washington Post Book World

Holt Paperbacks, 9780805070880, 656pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2002

About the Author

Hazel Rowley is the author of "Christina Stead: A Biography," which was a "New York Times" Notable Book. She has taught at Iowa University and Deakins University in Melbourne and is a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.