Black Boy (Jeunesse Noire) [Inscribed to Maurice Merleau-Ponty]. AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE, Richard WRIGHT, Marcel DUHAMEL, Andrée R. Picard, novel, translation.

Black Boy (Jeunesse Noire) [Inscribed to Maurice Merleau-Ponty]

Paris: Gallimard, 1947. First French Edition. First Impression, a review copy, with S.P. printed at upper left corner of rear wrapper. Octavo (20.75cm); original printed wrappers and publisher's glassine overlay; [13],14-264,[4]pp. Inscribed by Wright on the half-title page to French philosopher and intellectual Maurice Merleau-Ponty, above a brief inscription by translator Marcel Duhamel. Slight forward lean, some light wear and handling, with a tiny chip to base of spine, and the usual tanning to text edges, with some tiny nicks and tears to same; Very Good in a Very Good+ glassine.

Wright's fourth book, a moving and shocking autobiography of race relations, growing up in the South, and his eventual move to Chicago at age 19, where he established his writing career and became involved with the Communist Party. He moved to Paris in 1946, and became a French citizen the following year. While there he befriended fellow expatriate writers James Baldwin and Chester Himes, and was drawn to existentialism after becoming involved with its primary exponents: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Albert Camus. Their influence on his writing was especially evident in his 1953 novel The Outsider, which "speaks from an existential framework about the oppression of black people and the resulting violence and crime – something no black writer had tried to do before" (Karny, Roger. "Existentialism from an African-American Perspective." Philsophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas, 2021). While Wright signed and inscribed books liberally during his years in France, assciation copies of real significance are uncommon. BLOCKSON 4801.

Price: $4,500.00

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