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Ralph Ellison (Ralph Waldo Ellison) Biography

(1914–1994), (Ralph Waldo Ellison), The Negro Quarterly, Invisible Man, Shadow and Act

review american york jazz

African-American novelist and essayist, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He studied music at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, and worked for some time as a jazz musician before going to New York City in the late 1930s to pursue a career in sculpture; there he met Richard Wright, who encouraged him to write. In 1939 Ellison began to write in earnest with the New York Federal Writers' Project, and in 1942 he edited The Negro Quarterly. After several early short stories like ‘Slick Gonna Learn’ and ‘Mister Toussan’, he published his novel Invisible Man (1952). Immediately fêted, Ellison soon became one of the most highly regarded black writers and was awarded several honorary degrees and guest professorships. He has lectured widely on black culture, folklore, and creative writing. His only other major publication is a volume of essays, Shadow and Act (1964), which range over literary issues, jazz and blues music, and African-American social and cultural conditions. Extracts from a projected second novel on religion and politics, appeared in several periodicals between 1960 and 1973, including the American Review, Iowa Review, and the Quarterly Review of Literature. In 1986, some of these writings appeared in Going to the Territory. See also Ethnicity.

[back] Harlan Ellison Biography - (1934– ), Paingod, I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream, Over the Edge, Deathbird Stories, Shatterday

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