by Richard Wright


$15.01 $15.99 Save 6% Current price is $15.01, Original price is $15.99. You Save 6%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, December 12


From Richard Wright, one of the most powerful, acclaimed, and essential American authors of the twentieth century, comes a compelling story of one man's attempt to escape his past and start anew in Harlem.

Cross Damon is a man at odds with society and with himself—a man of superior intellect who hungers for peace but who brings terror and destruction wherever he goes. The Outsider is an important work of fiction that depicts American racism and its devastating consequences in raw and unflinching terms. Brilliantly imagined and frighteningly prescient, it is an epic exploration of the tragic roots of criminal behavior.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061450174
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/29/2008
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 299,390
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his novels, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. He died in 1960.

Date of Birth:

September 4, 1908

Date of Death:

November 28, 1960

Place of Birth:

Near Natchez, Mississippi

Place of Death:

Paris, France


Smith-Robertson Junior High in Jackson, Mississippi (1925)

Read an Excerpt

The OutsiderBook OneDread

Dread is an alien power which lays hold of an individual, and yet one cannot tear oneself away, nor has a will to do so; for one fears what one desires.
— Kierkegaard

From an invisible February sky a shimmering curtain of snowflakes fluttered down upon Chicago. It was five o'clock in the morning and still dark. On a South Side street four masculine figures moved slowly forward shoulder to shoulder and the sound of their feet tramping and sloshing in the melting snow echoed loudly. The men were warmly dressed and wore mufflers about their throats. The brims of their hats, encrusted with snow, were pulled down at rakish tilts over their eyes. Behind turned-up overcoat collars their gruff voices exploded in jokes, laughter, and shouts. They jostled one another with rude affection and their hot breaths projected gusts of vapor on to the chilled morning air. One of the men threw out an arm and grabbed a companion about the neck and crooned:

"Booker, let me rest this tired old body on you, hunh?"

"Hell, naw! Stand on your own two big flat feet, Cross!" Booker, a short, black man protested with a laugh.

The man called Cross turned and flung his arm about the shoulders of a big, fat, black man and said, "Then how about you, Joe?"

"Look, Crossy, I'm tired too," Joe defended himself, shying off. "Why pick on me?"

"Cause you're soft as a mattress and can stand it," Cross explained.

"If you're cold, it's your own damn hard luck," Joe said. "You don't take care of yourself. Me, I ain't never cold. I know how come you're always so cold, Cross. You drink too much. Don't eatenough. Don't sleep. But, me . . . Ha-ha! I eat and sleep as much as I can. And my good old fat helps to keep me warm. Ain't that right, Pink?"

The man called Pink did not reply at once; he was reddish in color and older than the other three.

"Cross," Pink said seriously, "you ought to take some vitamins or something. Man, you couldn't be cold now. Hell, we just left that steamy Post Office twenty minutes ago."

Cross swiftly pulled the glove off his right hand and, grabbing Pink's shoulder, rammed his bare fingers down the collar of Pink's neck.

"How do they feel, Pink?" Cross demanded.

"Jeeesus! Your fingers're cold as snakes!" Pink gasped, his eyes lit with concern. "They ought to call you Mr. Death!"

"I just need some alcohol," Cross confessed grimly. "My old engine won't run without it."

"You better quit that bottle, Cross," Joe, the big, fat, black man warned. "When you start living on alcohol, you're traveling a road that ain't got no turning. You been hitting that bottle heavy for a month now. Better let up, boy."

The Outsider. Copyright (c) by Richard Wright . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Outsider 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Babydoll1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Richard Wright's 'The Outsider' is a phenomenal novel that draws the reader to the dark side of the life of the main character Cross Damon. This extraordinary character introduces the reader to a man who lives outside the norms, expectations, rules, ...more Richard Wright's 'The Outsider' is a phenomenal novel that draws the reader to the dark side of the life of the main character Cross Damon. This extraordinary character introduces the reader to a man who lives outside the norms, expectations, rules, and laws of society. He embraces no ideological, societal or governmental theories, and he claims no religious prinicipals. Wright allows the reader to imagine the life of an individual who has little emotional regard for his family, who constantly succombs to his desire for women, and whose destructive ideologies decide the fate of his life. This intriguing page turning novel will appeal to the reader from beginning to end. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys classic African-American literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good book about a black man who wants to escape his past and began a new future. Who ends up to be a marvelous person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book. It was very easy to read and a book you don'' want to put down. This is the second book of Richard Wright's that I have read and there will soon be a third. I love his writing style
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book to me is one of the best books I have every read. It wasen' t hard to read nor was it hard to keep up with. I recommend this book to anyone who has read one of Richard Wrights other books to read this one also. I love this book because it is real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book The Outsider is a really great book. I would suggest this book to another reader. I am the type of reader that dosn't enjoy reading books very much, but when I began to read this book I didn't want to put it down. As I was reading I got more and more into it. Overall this is a gread book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. It was powerfully written and masterfully laid out. I chose to write a paper on this book when I was in high school. I am now several years out of medical school and never since have I encountered such a forcefully written and exquisitely truthful piece of work. If you want to get the inside story about race and class issues in America, read The Outsider. This book was written over 50 years ago but it still rings true to this day. Wright was a man before his time. An outsider himself, with this book he made a circle which drew us all in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to know about control and what it means read this, Wright's uncannability to see into human existance was unbelieveable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never liked to read, and so when iwas assigned to read a book for my US History class that had to be longer than 300 pages, I flipped out. I found this book in my house and just started to read it...I ended up not being able to put it down.