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Lawd Today! (Northeastern Library of Black Literature) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Northeastern Library of Black Literature
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Northeastern; Uxg edition (March 25, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555531598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555531591
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tom Butler on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Publishers turned down "Lawd Today!" when Richard Wright was alive. Reading it shows that they didn't appreciate its style. "Lawd Today!" is a fast-flowing look at one day in the life of a black man living in 1930s Chicago who is undone by his vices. Wright (who always felt himself to be an outsider) showed his dismay with the way many black people lived, not only because of discrimination, but because of their manners and mores brought north with them from Southern roots. The tale of a black postal worker draws on Wright's experience working in a Chicago mail-sorting facility (and after reading this you may understand why some people "go postal"). Set on Lincoln's birthday, Wright contrasts the morning reading of the Emancipation Proclomation over the radio with the decline and fall of his character. You might be unable to put down this book without finishing it - not because it is gripping, but because it moves fast and sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
This early novel by Richard Wright (1908-1960) went unpublished until after he died. This is far from Wright's best work, yet these pages show his stunning talent for descriptive prose. The story centers on a day in the life of a rather crude Chicago postal worker in the 1930's. He begins his morning by arguing with his wife. At work, he argues with his boss, then after work he gambles and drinks. Finally, he returns home drunk and beats his wife. That's hardly the best of tales. Still, Wright captures the sights and sounds of Chicago and its transplanted black community that had arrived up from the South with his gripping, readable prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L.O.A. Reader on April 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This novel, which traces a day in the life of an African-American postal service worker during the 1930's, is full of life, humor, irony, brutality, and looming tragedy. It is written vividly and clearly; it is a page-turner. Like all real life people at some level, Jake is a conflicted, paradoxical person. Those who would stand in judgment of Jake based on his brutal treatment of his wife at the outset of the novel may not be able to develop any interest in or sympathy with him as the novel progresses; they may despise him and perhaps then see the novel as pointless or repulsive. Most of the novel is about Jake's miserable postal service job and his close relationship with three close black friends who make his life bearable, two of whom also appear to be doomed. I found the novel mesmerizing, brilliantly written, and compelling for the most part. I particularly loved the portion that described what happened at Jake's monotonous, demanding job, and how he and his friends were able to somehow transcend the misery of it. But, naturally, because I cared about all of the characters (Jake's wife, Jake, his three friends) I hoped for them to find a way out of their dead-end, tragic situations -- knowing full well that such a happy resolution could not possibly be in store. I found a great deal of momentary joy and brilliant laugh-out-loud humor in the novel, as the characters found ways to transcend their unhappiness through close fellowship and "fun" -- even though some of these joyful activities were only hastening their doom. I would highly recommend this novel, but not for the judgmental or faint of heart.Read more ›
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By An admirer of Saul on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Wrights first novel contains all of Wrights favourite themes; the phoney freedom of blacks in the north,the lack of identity save through racial divisions,the contradictions-political and moral-in the black community.
All this is told following one day in the life of the reprehensible Jake Jackson, a womanising wife beater with right wing political ideology.
Richard Wright is a great writer period, and easily in the top sphere of black writers (a label his greatness dosent need). He wrote what he observed even if it was uncomfortable viewing.
'Lawd Today!' trails behind 'Native Son' and 'Black Boy' but has all the Wright elements that influenced Sam Selvon and Ralph Ellison and-perhaps- his great friend Nelson Algren.
Experimental and great stuff.
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