Roark Bradford

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Roark Whitney Wickliffe Bradford (August 21, 1896 Lauderdale County, Tennessee — November 13, 1948 New Orleans, Louisiana) was an American short story writer and novelist.

Life[edit]

He attended University of California, Berkeley, and served as a first lieutenant in the Coast Artillery during World War I.[1] He married Lydia Sehorn, divorcing her in July of 1933. He then married Mary Rose Sciarra Himler, also a writer, in Carlsbad, New Mexico. He was night city editor for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Bradford continued to produce well-received work during the 1930s and early 1940s. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Bureau of Aeronautics Training during World War II. In 1946, he accepted a position as visiting lecturer in the English department at Tulane University in New Orleans.

On November 13, 1948, he died of amebic dysentery, believed to have been contracted while he was stationed in French West Africa in 1943. His cremated remains were spread over the waters of the Mississippi River.

At the time of his death, Bradford’s writings were very popular. Since the 1940s, however, much of his body of work has been reevaluated. Many criticize his work as patronizing and demeaning in its portrayal of black characters.[2]

Marc Connelly adapted Ol' Man Adam and his Chillun for the stage as The Green Pastures, which won a Pulitzer Prize.[3]

His stage adaption of John Henry appeared in New York in 1940.[4][5][6]

His work appeared in Collier's,[7] Harper's,[8] and Virginia Quarterly Review,[9]

Awards[edit]

Works[edit]

References[edit]