The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison

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In this collection of essays and interviews, Ellison writes of literature and folklore, jazz and black culture, and the nature and quality of lives that black Americans lead. This volume includes the critically acclaimed works Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986).

In this collection of essays and interviews, Ellison writes of literature and folklore, jazz and black culture, and the nature and quality of lives that black Americans lead. This volume ...

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New and unread 1995 Modern Library Edition, first printing cloth hardcover and dust jacket in excellent condition. Protective mylar cover. Modern Library 1.46 x 8.35 x 5.74 ... Inches 896 pages Read more Show Less

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The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison

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Overview

In this collection of essays and interviews, Ellison writes of literature and folklore, jazz and black culture, and the nature and quality of lives that black Americans lead. This volume includes the critically acclaimed works Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986).

In this collection of essays and interviews, Ellison writes of literature and folklore, jazz and black culture, and the nature and quality of lives that black Americans lead. This volume includes the critically acclaimed works Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986).

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Compiled and edited by Ellison's literary executor, John F. Callahan, this collection includes previously uncollected and newly discovered reviews, criticism, and interviews in addition to the essay collections Shadow and Act and Going to the Territory. The preface is written by Saul Bellow. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"[Ellison's] essays never fail to be elegantly written, beautifully composed, and intelletually sophisticated." —Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679601760
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/14/1995
  • Series: Modern Library Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 896
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.35 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

John F. Callahan is Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College. He edited Ralph Ellison’s Juneteenth and co-edited, with Albert Murray, the Modern Library edition of Trading Twelves.

Saul Bellow, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, has written thirteen novels and numerous novellas, stories, and essays.

Biography

Ralph Waldo Ellison, named after the preacher-philosopher Emerson, was born in Oklahoma in 1914. His father died when he was three years old, and he was brought up by his mother, who worked as domestic help in white households in order to support herself and her two sons.

At the age of nineteen, he won a scholarship to study music at the Booker T. Washington Tuskegee Institute. In 1936, he went to New York and there met the black writers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright. He started contributing to the Federal Writers' Project, set up as part of Roosevelt's New Deal, and soon his short stories and articles began to appear in magazines and journals. In 1943 he joined the United States Merchant Marines returning to New York after the war. Awarded a Rosenwald fellowship he was able to concentrate on his writing and, seven years after starting it, his masterpiece Invisible Man (1952) was published. Immediately recognized as a classic in its own time, and described as a "touchstone of the 1950s", it won the American National Book Award and established Ellison as one of the major figures of twentieth-century fiction. He also published two collections of essays, Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986), but his second novel, which he worked on for over four decades and repeatedly declared to be 'virtually finished', never appeared. Flying Home and Other Stories (Penguin 1996) is a collection of both published and previously unpublished short stories.

Ellison was highly regarded by both the literary and academic worlds. He was Fellow of the American Academy in Rome from 1955 to 1957 and on his return held several visiting professorships; latterly being Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at New York University. He received the United States Medal of Freedom in 1969, became Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1970, and received the National Medal of Arts in 1985. Ralph Ellison died in 1994, survived by his wife of forty-eight years. In his obituary, The Independent declared him "a great gentleman, indeed a noble man, and the remarkable mythologising author of ... the great American Negro novel."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ralph Waldo Ellison (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 1, 1914
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    1. Date of Death:
      March 16, 1994
    2. Place of Death:
      New York City

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