EIGHT MEN by Richard Wright

EIGHT MEN

Short Stories

KIRKUS REVIEW

A haunting book in which Richard Wright tells the stories of eight Negroes, caught in the web of white civilization. There was small Dave to whom owning a gun meant manhood- and who learned, the hard way, that the gun could be master...The Man Who Lived Underground was escaping from the police who held him for a crime he had not committed; but the time spent hiding in the sewers, building himself a dream world from the opportunities for crime thrust upon him, turned him into the criminal he need not have been. An unforgettable story this...Another story is indirect in its implications. It is the elderly Dane who is tricked by racial concepts into thinking that size plus blackness cannot add up to any good...A poignant glimpse of a different kind of slavery is given in the aftermath of a flood that wiped out a struggling black family's potential livelihood...A dangerous situation, packed with implications of what might have happened, is presented in Man of All Work, when a trained Negro cook dons his sick wife's clothes in order to get a job that may help save their home...The jungle Africans' striving to bring their tribal gods into agreement with the white man's God, results in a wholly unpredictable tragedy...The murder of a librarian becomes a taut expose of the impact of the shadow white world on a Negro struggling to find his own place...The final chapter is a segment of Wright's own Chicago experiences. One wonders how he survived and surmounted it. A powerful and disturbing book.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1960
ISBN: 0061450189
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1960




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