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Eight Men: Short Stories

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  488 Ratings  ·  26 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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Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Alicia (PrettyBrownEyeReader)
This was my first Richard Wright read. I am so glad it was recommended to me. Each short story tells a distinctive story with the common thread being black men.
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
Toby Wraye
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Poignant understanding of the human condition overall and specifically the position and circumstances of Afro-American men and woman.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review: Eight Men by Richard Wright. 07/22/2017

This is a Classic first published in 1940 about eight Africa American men. There are eight short stories that focus on Black men at violent odds with a white world. The author writes his point of view on racism in our society about Black men in different unusual situations and the stories involve their struggles in life.

Each story was selected on Black men involved cruelly with their surroundings and beaten down by society. Each person is one way o
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dos millones de años después, conseguí terminar el libro. Estoy contenta con él; es una visión nueva sobre un tema que sigo pensando es increíblemente complejo y con muchos aristas. Me alegra mucho habérmelo topado entre mis libros olvidados. Worth my time.
Mira Rahili
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Such great short stories. It's so interesting these stories were written 40 some years ago because these stories of black men are still relevant today. I would love to teach some of these stories to my young, black, male students.
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, chicago
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
Ryan Wilson
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(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"
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incisive look via fictional (though one is autobiographical) vignettes of black life. Very often, it is painful to read stories such as these to imagine that my ancestors were complicit in this manner of caste system, but it also serves as a reminder that even today persons of color find themselves as lesser citizens due to this historical treatment. Excellent writing with weight and depth from Wright.
Stacy Simpson
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
I first heard of richard wright in high school literary class. We had to read black boy and give our point of view on it. It was one of the best books I've ever read at that point in time.

This book had one possibly two good stories in it but it wasn't good like black boy was. The beginning blurb bored me to no end and I felt it didn't give poor Richard justice.
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Cyndi Lu
this book is more like a study on black male consciousness asking what it means to be black and man, father, son, human. Each story weaves various themes in and out overlapping each other with a short memoir piece that ties everything together. worth reading.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1900-1969, prose
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.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Les histoires courtes ne sont pas égales. Certaines sont bonnes, d'autres exécrables.
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection. Beautifully written short stories that capture the trials of being Black and male in America. I love this book!
Jul 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Read it because I'm teaching it next year. Not my favorite, but lots of great discussion points. Also, so little has changed. :(
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Some stories are more interesting than others. Interesting concept, with each story being one of the "eight men" hinted at in the title.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about dialect writings, but the stories were solid.
Karen LaRose
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2014
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
great short read. i liked the man of all work and the man who killed the shadow the best.
rated it liked it
May 25, 2010
Patrick Michael
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Mar 28, 2014
Anna Springer
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Jul 19, 2011
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Mar 29, 2009
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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.
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