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Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground with Malcolm Wright, John Kulka, and Kevin Powell

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Tuesday, 7:30 pm EDT April 27, 2021

Online via Zoom

From the author of Native Son and Black Boy, The Man Who Lived Underground is a previously unpublished novel by Richard Wright, one of the most influential African American writers of the 20th century. Fred Daniels, a Black man coerced into confessing to a double murder he didn’t commit, escapes custody and hides in the city’s sewer system. Malcolm Wright, Richard’s grandson and the writer who penned the afterword to the novel, will be joined by John Kulka, the editor responsible for publishing the novel, and poet/writer/activist Kevin Powell (When We Free the World) for a conversation on this timely and incendiary novel about race and violence in America.

Presented in partnership with Library of America.


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Richard Wright in his study by Gordon Parks courtesy Library of Congress - Zach Cihlar
  • Richard Wright in his study by Gordon Parks courtesy Library of Congress - Zach Cihlar

    Richard Wright

    Richard Wright

    Richard Wright (1908–1960) is one of the most influential American writers of the last century. His major works include the novel Native Son, the memoir Black Boy (American Hunger), and the story collection Uncle Tom’s Children.


    Malcolm Wright is a filmmaker, writer, and conservationist and provides the afterword for The Man Who Lived Underground. He is Richard Wrights’s grandson.

    John Kulka is editorial director at the nonprofit Library of America, dedicated to preserving America’s best and most significant writing. Previously he has held senior editorial positions at Basic Books, Harvard University Press, and Yale University Press. He has served on the governing boards of Dalkey Archive Press and the David Charles Horn Foundation.

    Kevin Powell is a poet, journalist, civil and human rights activist, and author of 14 books, including When We Free The World, a new collection of essays.

About Library of America

Now in its fourth decade, Library of America is a nonprofit organization that champions the nation’s cultural heritage by publishing America’s greatest writing in authoritative new editions and providing resources for readers to explore this rich, living legacy.

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