Black Boy. A Record of Childhood and Youth. [Signed by Richard Wright]
The author’s stark haunting autobiography of his life while living in the South
First Edition of Richard Wright’s fourth book. The haunting tale of his incredibly chaotic and extraordinarily difficult Southern childhood. One filled with constant hunger, a life of poverty, often spent living in slums, fighting, and the ever-present threat of living in the deep South where intense racism continually spilled over into active violence.
“Along with his accounts of mistreatments by whites, Wright describes the complicity of Southern blacks in their own oppression. Wright’s family strove to make him conform to the submissive, servile behavior expected of black people, often beating him when he asserted himself to strongly [...] [A]n outstanding account of a particularly sensitive type of artistic personality striving for identity…”¹
A powerful and often difficult book. Black Boy has also been described as a portrait of the artist making his way, with similarities to Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. “Richard Wright was the first African American writer to enter mainstream American literature. A watershed figure in African American literature [...] he was never interested in pleasing his readers. Wright wanted his words to be weapons.”²
The first edition is rare to find signed.
Description: Black Boy. A Record of Childhood and Youth. [Signed by Richard Wright]
New York and London: Harper and Brothers, (1945). First Edition. Signed by the Author. Cloth. Some dulling to spine gilt, else fine in a lightly-chipped dust jacket with small creases, superficial interior stains, light stains and light soil to its rear panel; very good.
Notes. 1. Metzger, Black Writers. 2. Gates, et al AAL pp917–918. Upon his decease, Wright was cremated with a copy of “Black Boy.” [Blockson]