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The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison (Paperback)

The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison By Ralph Ellison, John F. Callahan (Editor), Marc C. Conner (Editor) Cover Image
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • A radiant collection of letters from the renowned author of Invisible Man that traces 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 changing nation over six decades

These extensive and revealing letters span the life of Ralph Ellison and provide a remarkable window into the great writer’s life and work, his friendships, rivalries, anxieties, and all the questions about identity, art, and the American soul that bedeviled and inspired him until his death. They include early notes to his mother, written as an impoverished college student; lively exchanges with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, from Romare Bearden to Saul Bellow; and letters to friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount.

These letters are beautifully rendered first-person accounts of Ellison’s life and work and his observations of a changing world, showing his metamorphosis from a wide-eyed student into a towering public intellectual who confronted and articulated America’s complexities.

About the Author

Ralph Ellison (1914–1994) was born in Oklahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at which time a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wright led to his first attempts at fiction, and eventually winning the National Book Award for Invisible Man. Appointed to the Academy of American Arts and Letters in 1964, Ellison taught at several institutions, including Bard College, the University of Chicago, and New York University, where he was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities.

John F. Callahan is the Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis & Clark College. Callahan has been the editor or writer on numerous volumes related to African American and twentieth-century literature. As the literary executor to Ralph Ellison, Callahan worked as the primary editor for Ellison’s posthumously released novel Juneteenth.

Marc C. Conner is the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee Professor of English and provost at Washington and Lee University.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593730072
ISBN-10: 0593730070
Publisher: Modern Library
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 1072
Language: English