Native Son
Richard Wright, 1940
WRIGHT, Richard (1908-1960). Native Son. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940.

First edition, in first state binding and dust jacket. "The day Native Son appeared, American culture was changed forever. No matter how much qualifying the book might later need, it made impossible a repetition of the old lies ... [and] brought out into the open, as no one ever had before, the hatred, fear, and violence that have crippled and may yet destroy our culture" (Howe, "Black Boys and Native Sons," in Dissent, Autumn 1963). Wright's text was expurgated for publication by the Book-of-the-Month Club (removing a scene of movie-theater masturbation), but it was nevertheless one of the most frequently challenged books in public libraries for the full fifty years even before the reconstituted text was finally published. It was also a runaway best-selller, selling a quarter million copies within three weeks. This first state binding and jacket is the most desirable.

Octavo. Original dark-blue cloth stamped in red; yellow and green dust jacket (foot of spine panel with tape repairs to verso and a small nick). Provenance: Frederick W. Bristol (ownership inscription).
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