Compiled, edited, and newly revised by Ralph Ellison's literary executor, John F. Callahan, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes posthumously discovered reviews, criticism, and interviews, as well as the essay collections "Shadow and Act" (1964), hailed by Robert Penn Warren as "a body of cogent and subtle commentary on the questions that focus on race," and "Going to the Territory" (1986), an exploration of literature and folklore, jazz and culture, and the nature and quality of lives that black Americans lead. "Ralph Ellison," wrote Stanley Crouch, "reached across race, religion, class and sex to make us all Americans.
About the Author
Ralph Ellison was born in Okalahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at which time a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his first attempts at fiction. Invisible Man won the National Book Award and the Russwurm Award. Appointed to the Academy of American Arts and Letters in 1964, Ellison taught at many colleges including Bard College, the University of Chicago, and New York University where he was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities from 1970 through 1980. Ralph Ellison died in 1994.
John F. Callahan is Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College. He is literary executor for Ralph Ellison's estate.
"[Ellison's] essays never fail to be elegantly written, beautifully composed, and intelletually sophisticated." —Los Angeles Times