Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Richard Wright’s Native Son tells the story of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, a black American youth living in utter poverty in Chicago's South Side during the 1930s. When Bigger unintentionally murders a white woman, he is put on trial and eventually convicted, and sentenced to the electric chair. Often recognized as a protest novel, Native Son stresses systemic racial issues, prompting the reader to feel both sympathy and empathy for Bigger. In this, the novel is one of the earliest successful attempts to explain the racial divide in America in terms of the conditions imposed on African-Americans by the dominant white society.

Soon after publication, Native Son was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author. Indeed, the novel was an immediate best seller, selling 250,000 hardcover copies within three weeks of its publication. As a result of the novel’s success, Wright became the first bestselling and the wealthiest black writer of his time, establishing him as a spokesperson for African-American issues and, to many, the “father of Black American literature.” In 1941, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Wright awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal.

Unsurprisingly, Native Son was challenged in many public schools and libraries and is listed in the American Library Association's list of the “Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999.” Yet most institutions in which the novel was challenged successfully fought to keep Wright's work accessible, particularly in the classroom, defending it as a guide into the reality of the complex adult and social world.

 

Native son is listed as 20th on the Modern Library’s list of the “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It is also included in TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923).

First Edition Identification

Harper & Brothers first published Native Son in 1940. With a dark blue cover stamped in red and white, first editions state “First Edition” on the copyright page with "A - P" below the statement. The dust jacket of the first edition is green and yellow and states the original price of  $2.50.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

In 1991, the Library of American published Native Son in its original entirety. This edition contains an introduction, a chronology, and notes by Arnold Rampersad, a well-regarded scholar of African-American literary works, as well as Wright's 1940 essay “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born.”

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Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Condition
Used - Very Good in Good dust jacket; Jacket tattered and chipped at spine.
Edition
First Edition; Second Printing
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Selkirk, New York, USA
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€115.78

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NY: Harper and Brothers. Very Good in Good dust jacket; Jacket tattered and chipped at spine.. 1940. First Edition; Second Printing. Hardcover. Gray cloth binding. Second printing, second state binding with second state dust jacket illustrated by Floethe. B-P code on copyright page. No price printed on jacket. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 359 pages .
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€115.78
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Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Near Fine
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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€27,786.00

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New York: Harpers, 1940. Hardcover. Near Fine/Near Fine. First edition, first issue dark blue binding. About fine with light bump at one corner and offsetting from a clipping, in a very good or better first issue dust jacket with some scuffs and small stains on the spine and rear panel. Housed in a custom quarter morocco and marbled… Read more about this item
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€27,786.00
Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Good
Published
1960
Binding
Hardcover
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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€231.55

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Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1960. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. First Australian edition. Very good with cocked spine, owner's bookplate, owner's signature, and foxing to endpapers and page edges in good dustwrapper with long tears and tape repairs to spine, age-toning to back panel, but a bright, lovely front panel. Along with Ellison's *Invisible Man* and *Baldwin's Go Tell It… Read more about this item
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Used
Published
1966
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780060830557
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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€11.58

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Harper & Row. 1966. Paperback. 0060830557 . very good condition; LIB2958004087; 398 pages .
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€11.58
Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
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€273.23

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New York: Harper and Brothers Publishing, 1940. 1st Edition . Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Wright's classic story of life in the "most segregated city in America" Chicago, in the early 20th century. Book has gray cover and in very good + condition, except for the black and gold printing on… Read more about this item
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
fair
Edition
First edition
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Pleasant Valley, New York, USA
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New York and London: Harper Brothers, 1940. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/fair. True First Edition (A-P on © page) DJ missing part of spine and generally ragged--may have come from a different copy since book is in great shape, although pages slightly yellowed from age
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Condition
Used - Near Fine in Very Good+ dust jacket
Edition
First Edition
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Northridge, California, USA
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NY: Harper & Brothers. Near Fine in Very Good+ dust jacket. 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. First edition second state (first edition A-P) hardcover, gray cloth titled in gilt/black title box, gray topstain. Spine ends a bit pushed else near fine. The DJ in mylar is price clipped, slightly rubbed/small closed tear at spine ends, small flaw mid… Read more about this item
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€92.61
Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Dust Jacket Included
Edition
1st Edition
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Beverly Hills, California, USA
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€416.79

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NY: Harper, 1940, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Dust Jacket Included. Published in New York by Harper & Brothers in 1940. First Edition is stated on copyright page. Book near fine except for slight wearing on spine ends and corners, fading and discoloration (spotting) on paste downs, free end pages, and randomly throughout inside pages. DJ (facsimile) fine. DJ… Read more about this item
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NATIVE SON.
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NATIVE SON.

by Wright, Richard 1908-60.

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Used
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West Brookfield, Massachusetts, USA
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New York & London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940. [True] Stated First (SD) with "A-P" below First Edition on copyright page edition. Original blue cloth with red, gray and blue labels uniquely rebound in-house by KTB in acid free J. Hewit Red and blue Cawburn goat retaining original top board label for book with 5 raised bands and original spine… Read more about this item
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Native Son.

Native Son.

by Wright, Richard

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Used
Published
1940
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Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940. First edition, first issue binding with "A - P" on the copyright page. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, raised bands, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. In fine condition. An exceptional presentation. Richard Wright's ground-breaking novel Native Son… Read more about this item
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€1,389.30
Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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€6,483.40

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. Hardcover. Fine/Very Good. First edition, first issue dark blue binding. Slightest foxing on preliminaries else about fine in very good first issue dust jacket with a long internally repaired tear on the rear panel, small nicks, and a modest split at the top of the front flap fold. A presentable copy of… Read more about this item
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Native Son: Richard Wright

Native Son: Richard Wright

by Wright, Richard

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Used - Very Good
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Paperback
ISBN
9780099282938
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GORING BY SEA, West Sussex, GBR
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Paperback. Very Good.
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NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Used
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Pomona, New York, USA
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€254.66

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. Very Good- in boards. A few stains to boards. A few markings to front pastedown and FEP. Stated First Edition, with publisher's code "A-P". ; ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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€254.66
Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

Condition
Used - Very Good
Edition
First
Published
1950
Binding
Paperback
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CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina, USA
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€11.11

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Mass market paperback first printing, so stated. Very good condition, with some slight wear to the cover. Binding is tight, interior pages are tanned. Previous owner name written on inside front cover
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€11.11
NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Wright, Richard

Condition
Used - Very Good+ in Fair dust jacket
Edition
Fourth Edition
Published
1940
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Overland Park, Kansas, USA
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€34.09

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Grosset & Dunlap. Very Good+ in Fair dust jacket. 1940. Fourth Edition. Vg+ WW II period reprint edition. Tight clean book. Minor bumping to edges, former owner bookplate on front pastedown and his name and July 7th, 1944 penned on front fly. Mild age tone to contents. Fair, as is jacket. Chipping to edges, more so to… Read more about this item
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€34.09
NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

Condition
Used
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
Published
1940
Binding
Hardcover
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Pomona, New York, USA
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€184.27

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. Very Good in cloth. Owner name and date on FEP. First Edition statement and "A - P" on the copyright page. ; ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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€184.27
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Used - Good
ISBN
9780060809775
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Mishawaka, Indiana, USA
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HarperCollins Publishers. Used - Good. Used book that is in clean, average condition without any missing pages.
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Native Son: And How Bigger Was Born

by Richard Wright

Condition
Used - Good
ISBN
9780060812492
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Frederick, Maryland, USA
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Perennial. Used - Good. Good condition. Slightly dampstained.
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€2.77
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Native Son (Perennial Classics)

by Wright, Richard

Condition
UsedAcceptable
ISBN
9780060837563
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Interlochen, Michigan, USA
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€5.88

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UsedAcceptable. The item is very worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, worn and creased covers, folded page corners and minor liquid stains. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include moderate to heavy amount of notes and highlighting,… Read more about this item
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Native Son

by Richard Wright

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Book Club Edition
Published
1940
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Toronto , Ontario, CAN
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Stated First Edition (First Book Club Edition) Harper & Row, 1940. In fine condition, clean and unmarked, boards bright and without wear, in a very good dust jacket, closed tears at edges, wear at spine ends and corners. Included is BOMC insert.
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€46.31