New York: Random House, 1964. First edition of the author's second book. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by Ralph Ellison on the title page. Light rubbing, near fine in a lightly used dust jacket. With the same intellectual incisiveness and supple, stylish prose he brought to his classic novel Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison examines his antecedents and in so doing illuminates the literature, music, and culture of both black and white America. His range is virtuosic, encompassing Mark Twain and Richard Wright, Mahalia Jackson and Charlie Parker, The Birth of a Nation and the Dante-esque landscape of Harlem--"the scene and symbol of the Negro's perpetual alienation in the land of his birth." Throughout, he gives us what amounts to an episodic autobiography that traces his formation as a writer as well as the genesis of Invisible Man. (Inventory #: 16009)
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