Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.
Anyone who has read Richard Wright's Black Boy knows it to be one of the great American autobiographies. Covering Wright's early life in the South, the book concludes with his departure in 1934 for a new life in the North. American Hunger (first published more than thirty years after the appearance of Black Boy) is the continuation of that story. A vital, richly anecdotal work, American Hunger treats with feeling and often with wry humor Wright's struggle to make his way in the North—in Chicago—as a store clerk, dishwasher, and eventually as a writer.
He deals movingly with his early days in the Communist Party and with his attempts to keep his integrity in the face of Party demands that he subordinate his artistic goals to its needs. And he recounts with a mixture of pain and irony his break with the Party and the tortured period of ostracism that followed. There is an unsettling and totally frank personal story here, and a lot of raw social history as well.
A Father's Law is the novel Richard Wright, acclaimed author of Black Boy and Native Son, never completed. Written during a six-week period near the end of his life, it appears in print for the first time, an important addition to this American master's body of work, submitted by his daughter and literary executor, Julia, who writes:
It comes from his guts and ends at the hero's "breaking point." It explores many themes favored by my father like guilt and innocence, the difficult relationship between the generations, the difficulty of being a black policeman and father, the difficulty of being both those things and suspecting that your own son is the murderer. It intertwines astonishingly modern themes for a novel written in 1960.
Prescient, raw, powerful, and fascinating, A Father's Law is the final gift from a literary giant.