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1 July 1944 Richard Wright (1908-1960) is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed collection Uncle Tom’s Children: Four Novellas (1938), his groundbreaking novel Native Son (1940) and his autobiography, first published as Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth (1945). Black Boy was the on the bestseller list from April 29 to June 6 of that year, despite being denounced as obscene in the U.S. Senate by Democrat Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, and it solidified Wright’s reputation, at the time, as the most famous black author in America. Wright spent the remainder of his career in Paris where he continued to produce fiction, extensive travel writings, essays about the social and political issues of the day and, toward the end of his life, an impressive body of haiku. A restored text, Black Boy (American Hunger): A Record of Childhood and Youth, w as established by The Library of America in 1991.The letters between Richard Wright and Dorothy Canfield Fisher help to document the role that the Book-of-the-Month Club played in the publication of the first, excised version of Black Boy .
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