Next Thursday, I'll give a presentation on aspects of my research ad writing on Richard Wright and publishing history. Maryemma Graham, founder of the Project on the History of Black Writing (HBW), invited me to discuss Black Boy in the context of the 75th anniversary of the book's release.
Here's my write-up for the talk:
At multiple points from 1945 to 2020, publishers sought to represent Richard Wright’s autobiography Black Boy to readers in ways that situated the book in different historical and aesthetic contexts. The varied editions of Black Boy display a body of bibliographic codes and visual cues that present us with important information concerning the production and reception of Wright’s work since its initial publication. Studying the Black Boy covers can serve as a gateway into the interconnected realms of African American literature and book history. The varied framing of this autobiography over the last 75 years represents intriguing approaches that publishers used to encourage people to purchase and read Wright’s account of his life.Related:
• A Notebook on Richard Wright & Book History