- Paperback: 460 pages
- Publisher: Ishi Press (September 27, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4871876357
- ISBN-13: 978-4871876353
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author
Ralph Waldo Ellison was born on March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City Oklahoma, but researchers say he was actually born in 1913. His father, a construction foreman, died in 1916 in a construction accident. As a result, Ralph had to work as a teenager as a shoeshine boy and did other odd jobs. This fact is often mentioned in biographies of him. He earned enough money to buy a trumpet and used it to play with local musicians. In 1933, he got into Tuskegee Institute on a music scholarship. He spent time in the library and became interested in reading. He left the university in 1936 without completing a degree but soon thereafter he began writing published short stories and book reviews. From 1937 to 1944, Ellison had over 20 book reviews, as well as short stories and articles published in magazines. From 1947 to 1951, he earned some money writing book reviews but spent most of his time working on Invisible Man. His second wife Fanny helped type Ellison's longhand text and assisted him in editing the typescript as it progressed. Published in 1952, Invisible Man explores the theme of man's search for his identity and place in society, as seen from the perspective of an unnamed black man in the New York City of the 1930s. Ellison created characters that are dispassionate, educated, articulate and self-aware. Through the protagonist, Ellison explores the contrasts between the Northern and Southern varieties of racism and their alienating effect. The narrator is "invisible" in a figurative sense, in that "people refuse to see" him, and also experiences a kind of dissociation. The novel, with its treatment of taboo issues such as incest and the controversial subject of Communism, won the 1953 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. Ellison died on April 16, 1994 in Upper Manhattan, New York City. There is a monument erected to Ralph Ellison monument in front of 730 Riverside Drive. He was survived by his wife, Fanny Ellison (1911–2005), who died on November 19, 2005, eight days shy of her 94th birthday. On February 18, 2014, the United States Postal Service issued a 91¢ stamp honoring Ralph Ellison in its Literary Arts series.