Reconsidering Cult Novelist Charles Wright

Gene Seymour at Bookforum:

The decades of near-silence that came in the wake of Charles Wright’s trilogy of short novels seem almost as aberrant and disquieting as the novels themselves. Wright died of heart failure at age seventy-six in October 2008, one month before Barack Obama’s election and thirty-five years after the publication of Absolutely Nothing to Get Alarmed About, the last of Wright’s novels, whose 1973 appearance came a decade after his debut, The Messenger. Wright clawed and strained from the margins of American existence for widespread acknowledgment, if not the fame his talent deserved. Cult-hood was the best he got, but it’s been enough. Through the dedication and (even) fervor of his steadfast readers, Wright’s sardonic, lyrical depictions of a young black intellectual’s odyssey through the lower depths of mid-twentieth-century New York City have somehow materialized in another century, much as Wright once imagined himself to move through time and space: “like an uncertain ghost through the white world.”

more here.