“Native Son declares Richard Wright’s importance, not merely as the best Negro writer, but as an American author as distinctive as any of those writing today.”—New York Times
This edition of Native Son reprints the original edition in which Wright omitted several passages which book club editors feared would prove offensive to readers in 1940 and which were restored to the book in later editions.
Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is just as meaningful today as when it was written, both in its unsparing reflection of the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and in what it means to be black in America. An undisputed classic since it was first published, Native Son has sold close to three million copies.
This abridged edition—the original 1940 text—includes an afterword by John Reilly and contains an introduction, “How ‘Bigger’ was Born” by Richard Wright.