And in doing so, he killed the mule of his employer and instead of proving himself worthy of being called a man, his peers saw that he was still not ready to take on the responsibility. In this story, we see different points of view on independence. How does one come of age? For Dave, it was owning a gun but for his parents, it meant being responsible for your actions. In the end, Dave proved himself that he met his own criteria of being a man by owning and firing a gun. But in the sight of many, he is still that man who was almost a man. Almost but not quite.
In 1953 Wright visited Africa, where he hoped to "discover his roots" as a black man. Black Power (1954) combines the elements of a travel book with a passionate political treatise, or formal writing, on the "completely different order of life" in Africa. In 1955 he attended the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, and published his impressions in The Color Curtain (1956). Pagan Spain (1956), based on two months in Spain, is the best of his nonfiction works. White Man, Listen (1957) is a collection of four long essays on "White-colored, East-West relations."
Rowley’s book is generally regarded as the best of the five. An accomplished writer, she previously wrote an award-winning biography of the Australian novelist, Christina Stead. More recently, in 2005, she published Tete-a-Tete: The Tumultuous Lives & Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre . Rowley’s doesn’t deal so much with Wright’s books as it does with his personal life. And she unearthed details of that life which the other biographers had missed. So how does an Australian come to write a biography of Richard Wright? In an interview with Robert Birnbaum on the literary website, Identity Theory, she related how she came to the United States on a sabbatical in 1994 and spent six months in Austin, Texas, where African Americans and Hispanics lived on one side of the town, whites on the other.