Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Richard Wright covers for Black Boy

The first version of Richard Wright's autobiography Black Boy was published in 1945. The book was 228 pages. The 2006 edition of Wright's autobiography, with a slightly expanded title Black Boy (American Hunger) is 448 pages and includes a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edward P. Jones. Over the decades, the book went through various editorial changes and extensions. The publication and reprinting processes of Wright's autobiography includes a fascinating visual history, especially the different covers of the book. See the covers here and here on news genius.

In 1937, Wright published an essay “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow, an Autobiographical Sketch,” which served as one basis for his life story. The manuscript for his autobiography was initially entitled “Black Hunger” and completed in 1943. When the Book-of-the-Month Club agreed to make the book a selection, they asked Wright and his published to cut the book in half and focus only on his southern experiences. The book was published in 1945 as Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth.

Book covers 
Richard Wright Autobiography covers  
Richard Wright  

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