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‘Native Son’ Review: A Big Story Made Smaller

Aug 05, 2019 - The New York Times

This fluid and nonlinear adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel is brisk, but its theatrics upstage its implications.

“Native Son,” the 1939 Richard Wright novel, is a murder story without a mystery. In the first minutes of this stage adaptation by Nambi E. Kelley, we watch Bigger Thomas, a 20-year-old African-American man, suffocate the white daughter of his employer.

Here’s the twist: We’re all guilty.

Admired and controversial since its publication, “Native Son”...