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  • Published: 2 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9781598536768
  • Imprint: Library of America
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $38.99

The Man Who Lived Underground

A Novel



A major literary event: an explosive, previously unpublished novel from the 1940s by the legendary author of Native Son and Black Boy.

**NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER**

A major literary event: an explosive, previously unpublished novel about race and police violence by the legendary author of Native Son and Black Boy

Fred Daniels, a Black man, is picked up by the police after a brutal double murder and tortured until he confesses to a crime he did not commit. After signing a confession, he escapes from custody and flees into the city’s sewer system.

This is the devastating premise of this scorching novel, a masterpiece that Richard Wright was unable to publish in his lifetime. Written between his landmark books Native Son (1940) and Black Boy (1945), at the height of his creative powers, it would eventually see publication only in drastically condensed and truncated form in the posthumous collection Eight Men (1961).

Now, for the first time, by special arrangement with the author's estate, the full text of this incendiary novel about race and violence in America, the work that meant more to Wright than any other (“I have never written anything in my life that stemmed more from sheer inspiration”), is published in the form that he intended, complete with his companion essay, “Memories of My Grandmother.” Malcolm Wright, the author’s grandson, contributes an afterword.

  • Published: 2 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9781598536768
  • Imprint: Library of America
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $38.99

About the author

Richard Wright

Richard Wright was born near Natchez, Mississippi, in 1908. As a child he lived in Memphis, Tennessee, then in an orphanage, and with various relatives. He left home at fifteen and returned to Memphis for two years to work, and in 1934 went to Chicago, where in 1935 he began to work on the Federal Writers' Project. He published Uncle Tom's Children in 1938 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the following year. His other titles include his autobiography, Black Boy (1945), and The Outsider (1953). After the war Richard Wright went to live in Paris with his wife and daughters, remaining there until his death in 1960.

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