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Richard Wright (Novelist)
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    (September 4, 1908-November 28, 1960)
    Born in Adams County, Mississippi
    Wrote the novels 'Native Son' (1940), 'The Outsider' (1953) and 'The Long Dream' (1958)
    Wrote the autobiography 'Black Boy' (1945)
    Also wrote '12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States' (1941), 'I Choose Exile' (1951), 'Black Power' (1954), 'White Man, Listen!' (1957) and 'Haiku: This Other World' (published posthumously, 1998)
    Became a French citizen (1947)
    He joined the Communist Party.
    Some critics complained that 'Native Son' portrayed a black man in a way that confirmed whites' worst fears.
    In 'Black Boy,' he wrote that he used to run by stores with Jewish owners shouting, 'Bloody Christ killers! Never trust a Jew!'
    His sharecropper father abandoned the family.
    He was able to borrow books from a 'whites only' public library by forging a note from a white patron: 'Dear Madam: Will you please let this nigger boy have some books by H. L. Mencken?'
    Some black Communists denounced him as a bourgeois intellectual for being well-spoken.
    'Native Son' was the first novel by a black author selected by the Book of the Month Club.
    Unexpurgated versions of 'Native Son' and 'Black Boy' were finally published in 1991.

Credit: C. Fishel

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