“Powerful & Timeless...”James Baldwin said every black American has a “private Bigger Thomas living in his skull.” Sixty years later, Wright’s novel about race & poverty in America is as powerful & timely as ever.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Topics: Race Relations, Chicago, 1930s, Murder, Crime, Poverty, African American Culture & Characters, Prison, Civil and Political Rights, Dark, Realistic, Violent, Harlem Renaissance, Realism, Existentialism, Bildungsroman, and Urban
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He's such a powerful force that Wright spends the entire last third of his own book basically saying "Holy shit!" Which is why this only gets four stars from me; that "Holy shit" is much weaker than the first two thirds, and I can't recommend this book to you without the caveat that the last 150 pages is pretty tough going.
So listen, I'm not gonna tell you to skip the last third because I'm not really important enough to say something like that, but in case you do, here's what happens: Bigger is not going to win that court case. There.more
A very affecting and intense book.more