Thunder on the Stage: The Dramatic Vision of Richard Wright (Paperback)

Thunder on the Stage: The Dramatic Vision of Richard Wright By Bruce Allen Dick Cover Image
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Richard Wright’s dramatic imagination guided the creation of his masterpieces Native Son and Black Boy and helped shape Wright’s long-overlooked writing for theater and other performative mediums.

Drawing on decades of research and interviews with Wright’s family and Wright scholars, Bruce Allen Dick uncovers the theatrical influence on Wright’s oeuvre--from his 1930s boxing journalism to his unpublished one-acts on returning Black GIs in WWII to his unproduced pageant honoring Vladimir Lenin. Wright maintained rewarding associations with playwrights, writers, and actors such as Langston Hughes, Theodore Ward, Paul Robeson, and Lillian Hellman, and took particular inspiration from French literary figures like Jean-Paul Sartre. Dick’s analysis also illuminates Wright’s direct involvement with theater and film, including the performative aspects of his travel writings; the Orson Welles-directed Native Son on Broadway; his acting debut in Native Son’s first film version; and his play “Daddy Goodness,” a satire of religious charlatans like Father Divine, in the 1930s.

Bold and original, Thunder on the Stage offers a groundbreaking reinterpretation of a major American writer.

About the Author

Bruce Allen Dick is a professor of English at Appalachian State University. He is the author of A Poet’s Truth: Conversations with Latino and Latina Poets and coauthor of American Soccer: History, Culture, Class.

Praise For…

"Dick's thorough biographical research unearths the overlooked role theater played in Wright's life and work. . . . Wright scholars will appreciate the fresh angle on the oft-studied writer." --Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9780252087790
ISBN-10: 0252087798
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication Date: March 24th, 2024
Pages: 296
Language: English