right,Richard (4 Sept. 1908-28 Nov. 1960), author, was born Richard Nathaniel Wright on Rucker'sPlantation, between Roxie and Natchez, Mississippi, the son of Nathaniel Wright, anilliterate sharecropper, and Ella Wilson, a schoolteacher. When Wright was five, hisfather left the family and his mother was forced to take domestic jobs away from thehouse. Wright and his brother spent a period at an orphanage. Around 1920 Ella Wrightbecame a paralytic, and the family moved from Natchez to Jackson, then to Elaine,Arkansas, and back to Jackson to live with Wright's maternal grandparents, who wererestrictive Seventh-day Adventists. Wright moved from school to school, graduating fromthe ninth grade at the Smith Robertson Junior High School in Jackson as the classvaledictorian in June 1925. Wright had published his first short story, "The Voodooof Hell's Half-Acre," in three parts in the in 1924, but nocopies survive. His staunchly religious and illiterate grandmother, Margaret BoldenWilson, kept books out of the house and thought fiction was the work of the devil. Wrightkept any aspirations he had to be a writer to himself after his first experience withpublication.


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