Ralph Ellison: a Biography
by Arnold Rampersad
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Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; A Borzoi Book
8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 657 pp.,  pp. of plates, illus., bib. notes, index; 25 cm. Tight, clean copy. Stated "First Edition." Dust jacket, with light shelfwear, protected in a mylar book cover. A near-fine copy of the first printing. "The definitive biography of an important American cultural intellectual of the twentieth century--Ralph Ellison, author of the masterpiece Invisible Man. In 1953, Ellison's explosive story of a young black man's search for truth and identity catapulted him to national prominence. Ellison earned many honors, but his failure to publish a second novel, despite years of striving, haunted him for the rest of his life. Rampersad, the first scholar given complete access to Ellison's papers, provides a complex portrait of an unusual artist and human being. This biography describes a man of magnetic personality who counted Saul Bellow, Langston Hughes, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wright, Richard Wilbur, Albert Murray, and John Cheever among his closest friends; a man whose life and art were shaped mainly by his unyielding desire to produce magnificent art and by his resilient faith in the moral and cultural strength of America. / Arnold Rampersad is Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities and a member of the Department of English at Stanford University. His books include biographies of Langston Hughes and Jackie Robinson, and he collaborated with Arthur Ashe on his memoir, Days of Grace. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and The Washington Post, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He lives in Stanford, California."-Publisher.