Ralph Ellison


Born
in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, The United States
March 01, 1913

Died
April 16, 1994

Genre

Influences
Hemingway, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Louis Armstrong, Richard Wright, ...more


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 best of these essays in addition to the novel put him "among the gods of America's literary Parnassus." A posthumous novel, Juneteenth, was published after being assembled from voluminous notes he left after his death.

Ellison died of Pancreatic Cancer on April 16, 1994. He was eighty-one years old.
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Average rating: 3.89 · 170,133 ratings · 7,161 reviews · 53 distinct worksSimilar authors
Invisible Man

3.89 avg rating — 163,420 ratings — published 1952 — 166 editions
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Juneteenth

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3.63 avg rating — 1,479 ratings — published 1999 — 25 editions
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Shadow and Act

4.11 avg rating — 557 ratings — published 1964 — 8 editions
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Flying Home and Other Stories

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3.91 avg rating — 654 ratings — published 1996 — 19 editions
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The Black Ball

3.83 avg rating — 353 ratings — published 2018 — 3 editions
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Battle Royal

3.84 avg rating — 311 ratings2 editions
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The Collected Essays

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4.32 avg rating — 266 ratings — published 1995 — 6 editions
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Living with Music: Jazz Wri...

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4.11 avg rating — 209 ratings — published 2001 — 2 editions
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Going to the Territory

4.19 avg rating — 84 ratings — published 1986 — 6 editions
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Three Days Before the Shoot...

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3.93 avg rating — 81 ratings — published 2010 — 6 editions
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“What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Polls

August 2020 Revisit the Shelf Poll

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen pub 1817, 251 pp.
 
  88 votes, 23.7%

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison pub 1952, 581 pp
 
  61 votes, 16.4%

The Color Purple by Alice Walker pub 1982, 295 pp
 
  61 votes, 16.4%

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath pub 1963, 294 p
 
  59 votes, 15.9%

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells pub 1895, 118 pp
 
  38 votes, 10.2%

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood pub. 1996, 468 pgs,
 
  37 votes, 9.9%

Candide by Voltaire pub 1759, 129 pp
 
  28 votes, 7.5%

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