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Native Son

Native Son is a novel published 1940 and written by Richard Wright. It tells the story of story of Bigger Thomas, an African-American struggling for acceptance in Chicago of the 1930s. His life, however, is doomed from the outset: after Bigger accidentally kills a white woman, he runs from the police and is eventually caught and put on trial.

Semi-autobiographical in tone, the story is a powerful statement about the inevitable fate of African-Americans as a result of racial inequality and social injustice. As Bigger's lawyer points out, there is no escape from this destiny for his client or any other black American, since they are the necessary product of the society that raised them.

The book was an immediate best-seller, selling 250,000 harcover copies in its initial run. The book was also one of the earliest successful attempts to explain the racial divide in America in terms of the social conditions imposed on African Americans by the dominant white society.

ISBN 0060809779

See also, Black Boy