The Richard Wright Encyclopedia

by Jerry W. Ward, Jr., ed., Robert J. Butler, ed.


Alphabetically arranged entries detail the life and works of Richard Wright.

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Cover image for The Richard Wright Encyclopedia

June 2008


Pages 472
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies

Richard Wright is one of the most important African American writers. He is also one of the most prolific. Best known as the author of Native Son, he wrote 7 novels; 2 collections of short fiction; an autobiography; more than 250 newspaper articles, book reviews, and occasional essays; some 4,000 verses; a photo-documentary; and 3 travel books. By attacking the taboos and hypocrisy that other writers had failed to address, he revolutionized American literature and created a disturbing and realistic portrait of the African American experience. This encyclopedia is a guide to his vast and influential body of works.


  • Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with an extensive bibliography. Literature students will value this work for its thorough overview of Wright's canon, while students in history and social studies classes will welcome it as a means of understanding the African American struggle for civil rights through literature.
Table of Contents

List of EntriesGuide to Related TopicsPrefaceIntroduction: Richard Wright (1908-1960)A-Z EntriesSelected BibliographyAbout the Editors and ContributorsIndex



"[R]ecommended to academic libraries."Catholic Library World

"In addition to all of the author's work, entries include a wide range of places, people (from Peter Abrahams and H.L. Mencken to Emile Zola), and events (including the Chicago Renaissance, the Great Depression, and the Scottsboro Trials) . . . . useful for anyone with an interest in American literature, political history, and twentieth-century cultural movements."ARBA

"…350 short entries by a variety of scholars on all aspects of the author's life and times, with a number of surprises along the way. Anyone interested in delving further into Wright's milieu will find this volume extremely handy… Highly recommended for all university literature collections."MultiCultural Review

"This book is an important work for students of American studies."Reference Reviews

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