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Becoming Ray Bradbury$
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Jonathan R. Eller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036293

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036293.001.0001

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Controversial Fictions

Controversial Fictions

(p.232) 38 Controversial Fictions
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on Ray Bradbury's decision to write controversial fictions at a time when his career was blossoming even further. Bradbury's 1951 trip to New York almost immediately began to reap dividends. He reached a contract with Doubleday for The Illinois Chronicles, and his first major-market interview, conducted during the last days of his New York trip by columnist Harvey Breit, was featured in the August 5, 1951, issue of the New York Times Book Review. Bradbury was also now trying to publish short stories with politically charged themes such as freedom of speech, freedom from fear, and the Civil Rights movement. This chapter examines the sources of Bradbury's stories that touched on controversial topics, including his racial experiences, and how he developed a very particular historical view in fashioning stories of race and racism for science fiction. It also considers some of the challenges encountered by Bradbury as he tried to have such stories published, two examples of which were “Way in the Middle of the Air” and “The Other Foot.”

Keywords:   short stories, Ray Bradbury, Doubleday, The Illinois Chronicles, freedom of speech, race, racism, science fiction, Way in the Middle of the Air, The Other Foot

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