An autobiography through the previously unpublished letters of the renowned author of Invisible Man, with insights into the riddle of American identity, the writer’s craft, and his own life and work.
Over six decades (1933 to 1993), Ralph Ellison’s extensive and revealing correspondence remarkably details his aspirations and anxieties, confidence and uncertainties throughout his personal and professional life. From early notes to his mother, as an impoverished college student; to debates with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, including Romare Bearden, Saul Bellow, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wright, and Alfred Kazin, among others; to exchanges with friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount, these letters communicate the immense importance of Ellison’s life and work. They show his metamorphosis from an impressionable youth into a cultured man of the world, from an aspiring composer into a distinguished novelist, and ultimately into a man who confronted America’s many complexities through his words.
- Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures
- Literary Collections / Letters
- Literary Criticism / American / African American
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