Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940) is one of the most violent and revolutionary works in the American canon. Controversial and compelling, its account of crime and racism remain the source of profound disagreement both within African-American culture and throughout the world.
This guide to Wright's provocative novel offers:
- an accessible introduction to the text and contexts of Native Son
- a critical history, surveying the many interpretations of the text from publication to the present
- a selection of reprinted critical essays on Native Son, by James Baldwin, Hazel Rowley, Antony Dawahare, Claire Eby and James Smethurst, providing a range of perspectives on the novel and extending the coverage of key critical approaches identified in the survey section
- a chronology to help place the novel in its historical context
- suggestions for further reading.
Part of the Routledge Guides to Literature series, this volume is essential reading for all those beginning detailed study of Native Son and seeking not only a guide to the novel, but a way through the wealth of contextual and critical material that surrounds Wright's text.
Andrew Warnes is a lecturer in American literature at the University of Leeds. He has published on the novels of Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison.