Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wright, Fadiman, Lewis

Winter 1945. Club night at the Valley Forge Military Academy, Wayne, Pennsylvania. . . . . Exercising the privilege of my rank for the first time in a cadet assembly, I say, “I’ve just read Richard Wright’s Black Boy. It’s a very important book. The most important work of fiction of our time. Wright’s autobiographical approach testifies to the fact that —” I pause for dramatic effect, struggling for Clifton Fadiman’s style and the elusive cliché of command — “American justice will never work until we are fair to the negroes.” I conclude with a quotation from the review I am writing for the Legionnaire campus weekly, “Black Boy is a must-read.”

— Sydney Offit, Memoir of the Bookie’s Son

Another student gets up and talks about reading Animal Farm. After the club meeting, Sid Offit learns that this is Michael Lewis, son of SL and DT (these passages are more interesting than the one I quote).


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