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Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 - November 28, 1960) was an African-American author of powerful, sometimes controversial novels, short stories and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerned racial themes.

Wright's books published during the 1950s disappointed some critics, who said that his move to Europe alienated him from American blacks then separated him from his emotional and psychological roots. Many of Wright trade;s works failed to satisfy the rigid standards of the New Criticism. During the 1950s Wright grew more internationalists in outlook. While he accomplished much as an important public literary and political figure with a worldwide reputation, his very creative work did decline.

However, recent critics have called for a reassessment of Wright's later work in view of his philosophical project. Notably, Paul Gilroy has argued that the depth of his philosophical interests has been either overlooked or misconceived by the almost exclusively literary enquiries that have dominated analysis of his writing. His most significant contribution, however, was his desire to accurately portray blacks to white readers, thereby destroying the white myth of the patient, humorous, subservient black man.

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