Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2022
Ellison served as a cook and baker in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II, visited Wales and France, and was a member of the National Maritime Union. This marks a critical turning point in his life and career. This paper considers those experiences as an important context for his life and work. All of his subsequent fiction and some significant nonfiction was informed by and reflects this experience to some extent.