Back Watch: Two discussions of Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground

In the spring of 2021, Library of America had an unexpected national best seller on its hands when it released The Man Who Lived Underground, Richard Wright’s previously unpublished novel centered on race and police violence. Below, for viewers’ convenience, we present two online discussions of the novel, both held within weeks of its publication.

LOA Live: Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground
April 15, 2021

Richard Wright’s daughter Julia Wright and grandson Malcolm Wright joined novelist and memoirist Kiese Laymon for this LOA Live program, which also includes two prerecorded readings from the book by actor Andre Holland.
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Chicago Public Library
Inaugural Juneteenth Reading Circle
June 17, 2021

For its first first city-wide Juneteenth Reading Circle, the Chicago Public Library hosted an online panel discussion of The Man Who Lived Underground. Sylvia Ewing, Director of Strategic Communication, Marketing and Outreach at Elevate, moderated the discussion, joined by Dr. Adam Green, Professor of History, University of Chicago; Ms. Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director, American Library Association; Dr. Garrard McClendon, Associate Professor, Chicago State University; Dr. Mary Pattillo, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies; Northwestern University; and Mr. Juan Perea, Professor, Loyola School of Law. Special guest appearance by Library of America Editorial Director John Kulka.
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