A radiant collection of letters from the renowned author of Invisible Man that trace the life and mind of a giant of American literature, with insights into the riddle of identity, the writer’s craft, and the story of a nation over six decades.
These extensive and revealing correspondences over six decades—from 1933 to 1993—provide a remarkable window into Ralph Ellison’s aspirations and anxieties, confidence and uncertainties throughout his personal and professional life. They include early notes to his mother, as an impoverished college student; debates with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, from Romare Bearden, Saul Bellow and Robert Penn Warren, to Richard Wright and Alfred Kazin; and exchanges with friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount. These letters are a beautifully rendered, first-person account of Ellison’s life, work, and his observations of a changing world, showing his metamorphosis from a wide-eyed student into an esteemed public intellectual, from an aspiring composer into a world-famous novelist, and ultimately into a man who confronted and articulated America’s complexities in words.
NEVER PUBLISHED IN BOOK FORM: Ellison’s letters will constitute a fresh and creative autobiography of a beloved literary figure.
INVISIBLE MAN, is one of the greatest works of American literature. Ralph Ellison is a renowned literary figure whose appeal is wide and diverse. The letters tell the story of the creation and afterlife of this seminal work.
COMPREHENSIVE VOLUME: The volume extends from the 1930s-1990s, with a general introduction and editors’ notes to each section. .
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