Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
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by Richard Wright
by Walter Dean Myers
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
by Tananarive Due
by Harold Courlander
by Ralph Ellison
by John Ridley
by Alice Mead
by Ernest J. Gaines
"Polite and even fearful in the presence of his white "betters," Bigger Thomas also hates them with a passion not even he can fully fathom. When he says "Yes, Sir" and "No, Sir," narrator Peter Francis James gets the menace in there behind the stilted manners. James has a gorgeous voice, a voice to fill a room with, and plays some characters with dash and conviction. Unfortunately, he reads the all-knowing narrator with less modulation, reminding us that the book is half novel and half political manifesto. Still, this is memorable presentation of a landmark in American literature. Bigger Thomas thinks and then does the unthinkable. He was invented in 1940. Now he has a voice. B.H.C. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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