Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright

Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Glenda R. Carpio, George Hutchinson, Jay Garcia, Nathaniel F. Mills, Robert B. Stepto, Gene Andrew Jarrett, Kathryn S. Roberts, Tommie Shelby, Laurence Cossu-Beaumont, Alice Mikal Craven, Nicholas T. Rinehart, Stephan Kuhl, Ernest Julius Mitchell
View all contributors
  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108469234


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available for inspection. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an inspection copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Hailed as 'the father of black literature in the twentieth century', Richard Wright was an iconoclast, an intellectual of towering stature, whose multidisciplinary erudition rivals only that of W. E. B. Du Bois. This collection captures Wright's immense power, which has made him a beacon for writers across decades, from the civil rights era to today. Individual essays examine Wright's art as central to his intellectual life and shed new light on his classic texts - Native Son and Black Boy. Other essays turn to his short fiction, and non-fiction as well as his lesser-known work in journalism and poetry, paying particular attention to manuscripts in Wright's archive - unpublished letters and novels, plans for multivolume works - that allow us to see the depth and expansiveness of his aesthetic and political vision. Exploring how Wright's expatriation to France facilitated a broadening of this vision, contributors challenge the idea that expatriation led to Wright's artistic decline.

    • Provides a broad account of Wright's oeuvre but also attends to topics, texts, and archival records that have not been previously discussed
    • Discusses Wright's seminal position in twentieth-century African American and Afro-diasporic literature
    • Offers accounts of Wright's artistic innovation and shows its connection to his political vision
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108469234
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Richard Wright's art and politics Glenda R. Carpio
    Part I. Native Son in Jim Crow America:
    1. The literary ecology of Native Son and Black Boy George Hutchinson
    2. Richard Wright's planned incongruity: Black Boy as modern living Jay Garcia
    3. Marxism, communism, and Richard Wright's depression-era work Nathaniel F. Mills
    4. Rhythms of race in Richard Wright's 'Big Boy Leaves Home' Robert B. Stepto
    5. Sincere art and honest science: Richard Wright and the Chicago School of Sociology Gene Andrew Jarrett
    6. Outside joke: humorlessness and masculinity in Richard Wright Kathryn S. Roberts
    Part II. I Choose Exile: Wright Abroad:
    7. Freedom in a godless and unhappy world: Wright as outsider Tommie Shelby
    8. Richard Wright, Paris Noir, and transatlantic networks: a book history perspective Laurence Cossu-Beaumont
    9. Expatriation in Wright's late fiction Alice Mikal Craven
    10. Richard Wright's globalism Nicholas T. Rinehart
    11. Richard Wright's transnationalism and his unwritten Magnus Opus Stephan Kuhl
    12. Tenderness in early Richard Wright Ernest Julius Mitchell.

  • Editor

    Glenda R. Carpio, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Glenda R. Carpio is Professor of African and African American Studies and English at Harvard University, Massachusetts. She is the author of Laughing Fit to Kill: Black Humor in the Fictions of Slavery (2008). She coedited African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges (2011) with Professor Werner Sollors and is currently at work on a book tentatively titled Migrant Aesthetics, a study of contemporary immigrant fiction.


    Glenda R. Carpio, George Hutchinson, Jay Garcia, Nathaniel F. Mills, Robert B. Stepto, Gene Andrew Jarrett, Kathryn S. Roberts, Tommie Shelby, Laurence Cossu-Beaumont, Alice Mikal Craven, Nicholas T. Rinehart, Stephan Kuhl, Ernest Julius Mitchell

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.