Written by Ron Bass
Charles Wright was born in 1933 and published three books within a decade: The Messenger (1963), The Wig (1966), and Absolutely Nothing to Get Alarmed About (1973). All are riveting. The first book is a relatively conventional novel. The second is an alternative present novel and a scathing satire that is definitely interstitial. The third, which is the topic at hand, is nearly unclassifiable, although I think it reads like a novel.
The book flaps of Absolutely Nothing to Get Alarmed About contain blurbs from Kay Boyle, Anthony Burgess, Ishmael Reed, and Clarence Major. Burgess writes: “It would diminish Charles Wright to call him merely an important black writer. Such talent as his transcends race: his concern is with the human condition.” Reed writes: “Charles Wright is the aristocratic poet-in-residence of America’s seamy side. He doesn’t flay so much as he haunts.”