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Eight Men: Short Stories
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Eight Men: Short Stories

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  378 ratings  ·  15 reviews
"Wright's unrelenting bleak landscape was not merely that of the Deep South, or of Chicago, but that of the world, of the human heart," said James Baldwin, and here, in these powerful stories, Richard Wright takes readers into this landscape one again. "Eight Men" presents eight stories of black men living at violent odds with the white world around them. As they do in his ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 9th 1996 by Harper Perennial (first published 1961)
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There were certain aspects of this collection of short stories that disappointed me, when I view them in light of his other work. But despite its shortcomings, it was still, like all other Wright that I’ve read, thrilling, stimulating, challenging, and in the end, enlightening. The last of the eight stories, each about a black man at odds with the white world in which they try to operate, is an autobiographical piece, or at least autobiographically oriented. He tells of his experience as a South ...more
First I was appalled by the inevitable-seeming destruction of the protagonists in the end of each short story. Eventually I learned to like the eight cynical and violent stories told through the eyes of a black man trying to survive in the segregated world of white men. I did find the stories a little black and white (in more ways than one) but also eye opening and though provoking. Worth the read definitely.
Sentimental Surrealist
Three more hours left in 2014! What's there to do, what's there to do, but write another book review?

Often derided, and in many ways I get why: this is far and away the weakest Wright book I've read so far. That remarkable progression from horror to resistance in the face of racism found in Uncle Tom's Children is missing, and in some ways, it feels like Wright's spinning on his wheels: in terms of using a flood as the jumping-off point for his story, "Long Black Song" beats "The Man Who Saw the
The foreword to this edition, by Paul Gilroy, sucked really bad--even though Gilroy's intention was to defend these short stories from the critical attacks they have suffered over the years, he began by describing all these attacks in detail...ostensibly in order to deconstruct them...but the ultimate effect was to lower my expectations. Partly as a result, I found the first 7 stories to be pretty ridiculous eye-rollers, where I can imagine I would have taken them more seriously had I skipped Gi ...more
One forgets between readings how subtle a writer Wright was. He takes subjects about which we usually preach obvious sermons and makes stories with nuanced characters who are responsible for their own lives, even though the forces of racism, poverty, and Freudian drives batter them like strong winds.
glad this was not my introduction to wright. he is way better than this material, which I believe he was pressed to finish. read uncle tom's children (shorts) instead.
Ryan Wilson
I sort of read it. It's a collection of eight short stories about African-American men. I read the first story (good), started the second story (boring), and the last story (really good). I didn't feel compelled to read any more, so I bailed. The last story - "The Man Who Went to Chicago" - is worth reading. Good insight on how Black men were treated, and treated each other, in the early to mid 20th Century and their relationship with different groups of White people. Otherwise, I don't really r ...more
(FROM JACKET)Here, in these powerful stories, Richard Wright takes readers into this landscape once again.

Each of the eight stories in "Eight Men" focuses on a black man at violent odds with a white world, reflecting Wright's views about racism in our society and his fascination with what he called "the struggle of the individual in America." These poignant, gripping stories will captivate all those who loved "Black Boy" and "Native Son"
I don't understand why this collection isn't respected more than it is. Some of the stories might not be as good as some of the others, but some are downright classics. These are masterful stories by a mature, memorable talent. Excellent reading.
I thought this was weak. A couple of the stories kind of work, and Wright in general has a particular sort of righteous conviction that is infectious and deeply interesting. I just don't think he was a particularly good writer.
One of the best short story collections I've read. Wright was such a profound and clearly ahead of his time writer. Very introspective and unrelenting in his quest to bury the truth down the reader's throat.
Some stories are more interesting than others. Interesting concept, with each story being one of the "eight men" hinted at in the title.
An excellent collection. Beautifully written short stories that capture the trials of being Black and male in America. I love this book!
great short read. i liked the man of all work and the man who killed the shadow the best.
Les histoires courtes ne sont pas égales. Certaines sont bonnes, d'autres exécrables.
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Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of powerful, sometimes controversial novels, short stories and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerned racial themes. His work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Richard Wright...
Native Son Black Boy Uncle Tom's Children The Outsider Rite of Passage

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