Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi, with poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those around him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot.
Black Boy is Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment—a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.
Topics: Mississippi, United States of America, Chicago, American South, 1920s, Bildungsroman, Creative Nonfiction, Inspirational, Contemplative, Poignant, Race Relations, Coming of Age, Childhood, Poverty, Communism, American History, Civil and Political Rights, Segregation, Politics, Working Class, Social Change, Art & Artists, Discrimination, African American Culture & Characters, Harlem Renaissance, Existentialism, 20th Century, American Author, and Philosophical
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I first read On Writing Well as a college student 26 years ago, and because I was a photojournalism major, I remember being impressed by what amounted to my first "writer's book."
Zinsser knows how to craft a sentence and make a point, and the overall impression is one of being taught by a patient, gray-haired professor.
On Writing Well is aimed squarely at non-fiction writers (not surprising given Zinsser's newspaper background), and I'd suggest it's still an ideal primer for new writers.
Initially published in 1976, On Writing Well was reissued in a 2006 "30th Anniversary Edition" which included a new section on writing memoirs.
Overall, this book has aged fairly well (good writing is still good writing), though writers nowadays are facing new challenges, and you won't find answers to those issues here. Those looking for step-by-step guides to getting published won't find what they want here.
Instead, Zinsser has written a nice, patient, intelligent book about writing better. It's a classic and for good reason, though it is starting to show some wear around the edges.more