University of Pittsburgh
March 21, 2006

First Editions of Author Richard Wright's Major Works on Display at Pitt's Hillman Library Through April 30


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-The first editions of 15 major works by author Richard Wright are on display through April 30 on the second and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh's Hillman Library, 3960 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

The exhibition begins with Wright's first book, Uncle Tom's Children (Harper & Brothers, 1938), displayed outside 272 Hillman Library, and continues through his last book, American Hunger (Harper & Row, 1977), shown outside 363 Hillman.

Wright, the grandson of slaves, was one of the first Black American writers to protest White treatment of African Americans, most notably in his novel Native Son (Harper & Brothers, 1940) and his autobiography Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth (Harper & Brothers, 1945). His books focus primarily on the poverty, anger, and protests of northern and southern urban Blacks. Wright has been called the father of the post-World War II Black novel as well as the main precursor of the African American arts movement of the 1960s.

The first editions are housed in the Department of Special Collections in the University Library System.