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About the Writer
* Biography
If You Like Ralph Ellison
You'll Like...
*Toni Morrison
*James Baldwin
*Richard Wright
*John Henry Days
by Colson Whitehead
Meet the Writers

Ralph Ellison
For better or worse, Ralph Ellison stands with writers such as J. D. Salinger or Joseph Heller as a writer whose limited output was dominated by one perfect, defining book. For Ellison, that book was The Invisible Man, an awe-inspiring distillation of the pre-Civil Rights black experience as told by one gifted but doomed narrator.

* Read the biography

Fact File

Ralph Ellison
Also Known As:
Ralph Waldo Ellison (full name)
Date of Birth:
March 1, 1914
Place of Birth:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date of Death:
March 16, 1994
Place of Death:
New York City
Tuskegee Institute, 1933-36
National Book Award for The Invisible Man, 1953

The Best Book to Read First

Selected Works

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Invisible Man, Author: 
								Ralph Ellison.

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Invisible Man
by Ralph Ellison
That Ellison makes a nameless, faceless character so powerful and sympathetic is just a fraction of what he accomplishes in this chronicle of a black man's coming of age in the south and later as an activist in New York City. It's a cinematic, heart-wrenching tale of aspiration and disillusionment. Sons of Heaven author Terrence Cheng told us: "It's possibly one of the greatest novels ever written, by anyone, ever."

*  Read more about Terrence Cheng
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Shadow and Act, Author: 
								Ralph Ellison.
*  Invisible Man (1952)
*  Shadow and Act (1960)
*  Going to the Territory (1986)
*  Juneteenth (1999)
*  Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray (2000)

*  See the Ralph Ellison chronology

Modern Thought in Writings from the Past

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison, Author: 
								Ralph Ellison, John F. Callahan (Editor).

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The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison
by Ralph Ellison, John F. Callahan (Editor)
Culling previously uncollected writings along with essays from the collections Going to the Territory and Shadow and Act, this volume further demonstrates Ellison's keen judgment on race matters while revealing more personal writings on jazz, literature and other topics. For more of the informal Ellison, check into his collection of letters with jazz writer and friend Albert Murray.

*  Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray   by Ralph Ellison, Albert Murray (Editor), John F. Callahan (Introduction)