H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Novelist, playwright, social critic
Born into a poor family
in Natchez, Mississippi,
Wright moved to Chicago in 1927, aspiring to become
a writer. Working in a number of menial jobs, he pursued his writing and
was eventually hired in 1935 by the Federal Writers Project of the Works
Progress Administration. Wright lived at several South Side locations; his
last residence in Chicago was the La Veta apartment building,
3743 South Indiana Avenue.
Although Wright lived
in Chicago for only a decade, his most compelling writing drew heavily on
his Chicago experience. Native Son (1940) shocked readers with its
violent realism, describing the emotional forces that drive a young man
to commit murder.
memories were the basis for another critically acclaimed novel, Black
Boy (1945), a gripping account of his childhood and adolescence.
Wright moved to New
York City in 1937 and to Paris in 1947. His intellectual and literary interests
expanded over the years, but at the core was a deep concern for humanity
and the nature of prejudice.