Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright


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Richard Wright’s powerful collection of novellas set in the American Deep South, now available as a limited Olive Edition from Harper Perennial.

“A formidable and lasting contribution to American literature.”—Chicago Tribune


Originally published in 1938, Uncle Tom’s Children, a collection of five novellas, was the first book from Richard Wright, who would go on to win international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the Black experience.

Set in the American Deep South, each of these devastating stories concerns an aspect of the lives of Black people in the post-slavery era, exploring their resistance to white racism and oppression. The collection also includes a personal essay by Wright titled “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.”

At the time of publication, Uncle Tom’s Children “constituted the most unrelenting and rage-fueled critique of white racism ever to surface in fiction written by Black writers directed toward a mainstream American readership. It brought Wright to the attention of white critics and readers, many of whom had never encountered a Black text that so moved and challenged them, thereby preparing the ground for Wright’s novel, Native Son, the book that changed the course of American letters” (from Richard Yarborough’s Introduction).

Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright
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