Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2022
This book is an attempt to situate Ralph Ellison’s dynamic life and work within appropriate contexts. Ellison (1913–1994) is best known as the author of the novel Invisible Man (1952), one of the most frequently taught and debated novels of the past sixty years, and secondarily as one of the finest American essayists. Through his essays he has become an influential theorist of culture and identity. Scholars have been unraveling the many mysteries of the sprawling novel that he worked on from the 1950s through 1994, called “The Hickman Novel” in this book, according to emerging convention.