Thursday, November 25, 2010

Remembering Richard Wright

Happy Thanksgiving from Discover Paris!

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 Richard Wright in Paris living room, 1947
Photo: National Archives

Richard Wright was the "kingpin" of the African-American expatriate writers who came to Paris after the Second World War. He promptly fell in love with the city upon his arrival in 1946, and returned to the U.S. after a few months to make arrangements to move to Paris permanently. He, his wife Ellen, and his daughter Julia returned in 1947. From his new home base in Paris, Wright would continue to write, travel the world, participate in the founding of the literary journal Presence Africaine, and act as speaker and liaison between the American and African delegations at the First International Congress of Negro Writers and Artists. He would end his days in the City of Light on November 28, 1960, at the age of fifty-two.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Wright’s death, Discover Paris! has created a new edition of its downloadable, self-guided walking tour entitled "Richard Wright’s Paris."  The tour contains descriptive commentary and photographs of the numerous sites that Richard Wright frequented during the ten years that he lived in the Left Bank.  Those taking the tour will learn about his apartment, his favorite cafés and restaurant, his local bookstore, and the Luxembourg Garden - one of the most splendid gardens in Paris - where the Wright family had numerous neighborhood outings.

Plaque honoring Wright at 14, rue Monsieur le Prince
© Discover Paris!

Discover Paris! released the first edition of this tour in 2008, in celebration of the centennial of Wright’s birth.

The latest edition of the walking tour incorporates new text and enlargements of previously included photographs, as well as new photographs that illustrate the walk, a photographic portrait of Wright, a chronology of his life in Paris, and original photos of Père Lachaise Cemetery, his final resting place.  The latter section includes images of the columbarium, where Wright was cremated, and the niche containing his ashes.

As is true for all Discover Paris! walks, "Richard Wright's Paris" includes informed commentary, photographs and illustrations, and a map that highlights the route of the itinerary.  These allow you to navigate the sometimes confusing layout of the city with ease.  We also provide restaurant suggestions, eliminating your fear of selecting a less-than-satisfactory place to lunch or dine. The walk is available in pdf format.

To access the Web page for Discover Paris’ downloadable walking tours, visit


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