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Flying Home and Other Stories

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  381 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Written between 1937 and 1954 and now available in paperback for the first time, these thirteen stories are a potent distillation of the genius of Ralph Ellison. Six of them remained unpublished during Ellison's lifetime and were discovered among the author's effects in a folder labeled "Early Stories." But they all bear the hallmarks--the thematic reach, musically layered ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 12th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1996)
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Petter Nordal
Apr 03, 2014 Petter Nordal rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, insightful, heart wrenching, gut-twisting, infuriating, soothing, burst-out-laughing, well crafted book that left me wishing it was longer.
Benji
Sep 02, 2010 Benji rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This was my first book by Ellison and I'll be happy to read more. It made me frustrated in the issues it brings up but it also made me homesick for home in Tennessee, just from the way people talk and the areas of the country it describes.

I feel like the stories that hit me the most were the last 4 : The black ball, In a strange country, King of the bingo game and Flying home. I've yet to read the introduction, but I flipped through it to get a sense of where this guy was coming from (generally
...more
Ryan
Oct 01, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
Interesting, quick jump into everything Ellison: race, politics, the south, and strange scenarios. Unfortunately, outside of the title story and "Party in the Square" most of these short stories fall... well, short. Some pieces could have benefited from some extra editing (thankfully he never went overboard...), and some just weren't too intriguing. Ellison, despite his small body of work, is a critical author in American history, and these stories work as a nice prelude to his magnum opus.
Alessia Nolli b
Feb 22, 2014 Alessia Nolli b rated it really liked it
Scritti fra il 1937 e il 1954, questi tredici racconti sono stati raccolti e pubblicati in un volume postumo da John F. Callahan, massimo studioso di Ellison. Rappresentano il meglio della narrativa breve dello scrittore americano.
Con uno stile che è stato definito cechoviano, Ellison racconta vicende che sono in parte autobiografiche: la morte del padre quando lui aveva solo tre anni, i suoi primi passi come musicista jazz, gli umili lavori svolti per mantenersi agli studi. Storie di discrimi
...more
Ben Schroeder
Aug 25, 2015 Ben Schroeder rated it it was amazing
Ralph Ellison pulls no punches in this collection, and if you have read Invisible Man and/or some of his essays then you will enjoy Flying Home and Other Stories. The stories that provoke the most open dialogue, and provide the most clear view of Ellison's stance, on race are "A Coupla Scalped Indians," "A Hard Time Keeping Up," "The Black Ball," "King of the Bingo Game," and "Flying Home." That being said, this collection is best digested when read in order, cover to cover.

Not only does Ellison
...more
Patrick
May 24, 2010 Patrick rated it liked it
p.48 "It was always God, or the white folks. She always made him feel guilty, as though he had done something wrong he could never remember, for which he would never be forgiven." That I Had the Wings
Bernadette
The previously published stories in this volume were much better than the unpublished ones. I'm not sure Ellison's literary executor did right by him including previously unpublished material. Had they discussed it prior to his death? In any case, the collection is filled with the excellent dialogue and wonderful character development I remember from Invisible Man. Ellison was truly as master at both. Good book.
Joseph
Sep 12, 2016 Joseph rated it liked it
Only three stars. Some very good stories, the first story an account of a lynching was very powerful, but some not so compelling.
The Great Dan Marino
Actually surprised it grades out this high, as there were a disappointing number of underwhelming pieces here. Still, it's mostly borderline apprentice work. The only truly mature piece--"A Coupla Scalped Indians" (pubbed after Invisible Man)--kicks your ass hard. The unpublished "Party Down at the Square" is also fierce as hell and shows just what kinda talent you're dealing with. Some good atmospheric pieces re trains and black youth. Early Ellison was too hamhanded on image and too plain on s ...more
Shujaa Green
Mar 23, 2015 Shujaa Green rated it really liked it
All the reality and finesse i love about Ellison, packed into individual doses. This was not all that life changing but was pretty inspiring. A party down at the square ( I think it's called ) and Flying home are definitely stand outs. Every story has unique perspectives and some funny lessons. Read it on vacation, or on your way back !
V.
Sep 23, 2010 V. rated it liked it
"A Party Down At the Square" is easily the best and incomparable. The title track has an ending which would be much better if the absurdity was intentional. Hoboes, kids and a "black yank" chillin' with a Welsh bro. Kind of wish the high mindedness of rhetoric was matched by at least a hint of an enlightened style. Alas.
Marcos
Sep 01, 2015 Marcos rated it really liked it
A beautiful, bleak and sorrowful collection of the black experience during the 1930s-50s that often serves as a precursor to that wonderful masterpiece he's most well known for. Full of rage, hope and laughter at even at the bleakest moments, he evokes protest fiction writing at it's richest.
Aaron Cance
Apr 16, 2012 Aaron Cance rated it really liked it
These stories are a wonderful introduction to Ellison's work. They are more accessible than the longer work, yet retain the signature musicality of his language. Used them in a Introduction to College Writing course - student's were challenged by the ebonic dialogue, but it was good for them!
Rob
Nov 07, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of stories is a must read for those who treasure to work of Ellison. In these short works, the voice that would give us Invisible Man can be seen developing. They are not as powerful or as deep as his great novel, but they do offer an entertaining and meaningful read.
Jeff
Aug 18, 2013 Jeff rated it really liked it
"King of the Bingo Game" and the titular story really stand out with their extreme emotions. The rest are pretty powerful as well, but the organization of the volume, with the childhood stories at the front, made it hard to get hooked until the end.
Anthony D'Juan Shelton
A great collection of Ellison's short works. Though none of the stories come close to "Invisible Man", these stories proved Ellison was a gorgeous craftsman of word play.
James
Feb 19, 2015 James rated it really liked it
13 stories by Ellison (several published for the first time) about boyhood adventures, hopping trains, and WW2 all from an African American perspective.
Janice
Apr 11, 2008 Janice rated it really liked it
This is a glimpse into a bygone era in black history through short story and is a fabulous collection.
Jerrika
Nov 22, 2011 Jerrika rated it it was amazing
my grandmother was written about in this book making it always special to me. (period)
Lynzo
Oct 29, 2014 Lynzo rated it really liked it
lovely. powerful.
Salina
Mar 14, 2010 Salina rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite classics.
Arianna Morales
Aug 06, 2013 Arianna Morales rated it it was amazing
Beautiful!
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Ralph Ellison was a scholar and writer. He was born Ralph Waldo Ellison in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, named by his father after Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ellison was best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory (1986). For The New York Times , the b ...more
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