American hunger

American hunger

Richard Wright

Language: English

Pages: 146

ISBN: 0060804645

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


American Hunger, the second part of Richard Wright's autobiography, focuses on his life in Chicago, Illinois, from 1927 to 1937. The book was written in 1944

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part of the whites and the white world; and the whites, too, had learned to see only a part of the lives of the blacks and their world. Perhaps Brand and Cooke, lacking interests that could absorb them, fuming like children over trifles, simply invented their hate of each other in order to have something to feel deeply about. Or perhaps there was in them a vague psyche pain stemming from their chronically frustrating way of life, a pain whose cause they did not know; and, like those devocalized

objectively. One Saturday night, sitting home idle, not caring to visit the girls I had met on my former insurance route, bored with reading, I decided to appear at the John Reed Club in the capacity of an amused spectator. I rode to the Loop and found the number. A dark stairway led upwards; it did not look welcoming. What on earth of importance could transpire in so dingy a place? Through the windows above me I saw vague murals along the walls. I mounted the stairs to a door that was lettered:

shook hands. He went to a closet and returned with an armful of magazines. “Here are some back issues of the Masses, “ he said. “Have you ever read it?” “No,” I said. “Some of the best writers in America publish in it,” he explained. He also gave me copies of a magazine called International Literature. “There’s stuff here from Gide, Gorky …” I assured him that I would read them. He took me to an office and introduced me to a Jewish boy who was to become one of the nation’s leading painters,

not help any. “You’ve heard of Trotsky, haven’t you?” he asked. “Yes.” “Do you know what happened to him?” “He was banished from the Soviet Union,” I said. “Do you know why?” “Well,” I stammered, trying not to reveal my ignorance of politics, for I had not followed the details of Trotsky’s fight against the Communist party of the Soviet Union, “it seems that after a decision had been made, he broke that decision by organizing against the party.” “It was for counterrevolutionary activity,”

from somewhere within me, as by a power of their own: It’s going to take a long and bloody time, a lot of stumbling and a lot of falling, before they find the right road. They will have to grope about blindly in the sunshine, butting their heads against every mistake, bruising their bodies against every illusion, making a million futile errors and suffering for them, bleeding for them, until they learn how to live, I thought. Somehow man had been sundered from man and, in his search for a new

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