Great Books Kansas City discussion

February 24, 2017— "Native Son," by Richard Wright

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message 1: by Clif, moderator (new)

Clif Hostetler (clif_) | 397 comments Mod
Next meeting is February 24, 2017. We will be discussing the book Native Son, by Richard Wright.

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: February 24, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM

Native Son (1940) is a novel written by African-American author Richard Wright. The novel tells the story of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, an African-American youth living in utter poverty in a poor area on Chicago'sSouth Side in the 1930s.

message 2: by Clif, moderator (new)

Clif Hostetler (clif_) | 397 comments Mod
In case you don't have time to read the entire book, I recommend giving top priority to "Book Three." The core message of the book is contained there.

If you only want suspenseful thriller narrative, you'll find that in the first two books.

message 3: by Clif, moderator (last edited Feb 17, 2017 02:54PM) (new)

Clif Hostetler (clif_) | 397 comments Mod
In Richard Wright’s 1940 essay, How “Bigger” Was Born he writes about the various individual and personal influences, the writing process, and how the novel was constructed. He explains how the critical response to Uncle Tom’s Children caused him to make sure that Native Son was a "hard and deep" story that would leave the reader bereft of tears:
I realized that I had made an awfully naive mistake. I found that I had written a book which even bankers’ daughters could read and weep over and feel good about. I swore to myself that if I ever wrote another book, no one would weep over it; that would be so hard and deep that they would have to face it without the consolation of tears.
Thus if you as a reader find the book a bit shocking and disturbing, it's because Richard Wright intended it to be that way.

message 4: by Clif, moderator (new)

Clif Hostetler (clif_) | 397 comments Mod
Sixteen participants joined in the discussion last night of "Native Son" by Richard Wright.
Bernard Norcott/Mahany
David Bluford
Marilyn Whitlock
Bo Smith
Greg Brown
Janelle Sjue
Tom Brown
Jack Granath
Marty Hatten
Don Pepper
Mary Cutting
John Rasmus
Charlie Kline
June Seat

Leroy Seat

Clif Hostetler

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