The Other World of Richard Wright
Perspectives on His Haiku

Edited by Jianqing Zheng

176 pages (approx.), bibliography, index

978-1-61703-022-2 Cloth $55.00S

Cloth, $55.00


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The first scholarly consideration of the over eight hundred haiku written late in Wright's life

Essays by: Shawnrece D. Campbell Lee Gurga Yoshinobu Hakutani Richard A. Iadonisi Toru Kiuchi Sanehide Kodama Thomas L. Morgan Sachi Nakachi Meta L. Schettler Jianqing Zheng

The Other World of Richard Wright: Perspectives on His Haiku reveals Richard Wright's poetic vision toward the human world. Through the minimal form of haiku, Wright (1908-1960) found his poetic connection to nature. This sensibility displays not only the change in him as a writer but also the tenderness in him as a human being.

These essays open up a new territory in Wright studies by tracing the development of Wright's aesthetic and its relationship to African and Japanese cultures. The book tells how haiku offered a therapeutic outlet for Wright in his final two years of life in Paris, explores the influence of Zen Buddhism on Wright's haiku, and delivers a thematic analysis of Wright's haiku. The collection also gives us a focused examination of how Wright's haiku reveal a conflict between nature and culture, how women are exploited for labor and sex by the culture at-large, and how the South in Wright's haiku symbolizes a place full of dreams, memories, hardships, and loneliness with his images of cotton, freight trains, croaking frogs, magnolia trees, and hog-killing.

Jianqing Zheng, Greenwood, Mississippi, is professor and chair of English at Mississippi Valley State University. He is the editor of Valley Voices: A Literary Review. A noted Wright scholar, Zheng's work on the writer has appeared in the Explicator, Southern Quarterly, Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Notes on Contemporary Literature, and other periodicals.

176 pages (approx.), bibliography, index