New Penguin Essentials edition of Ralph Ellison's blistering, impassioned novel of African-American lives in 1940s America, Invisible Man.'I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.'Defeated and embittered by a country which treats him as a non-being, the 'invisible man' retreats into an underground cell, where he smokes, drinks, listens to jazz and recounts his search for identity in white society: as an optimistic student in the Deep South, in the north with the black activist group the Brotherhood, and in the Harlem race riots. And explains how he came to be living underground . . .
Ralph Waldo Ellison (1914-94) was born in Oklahoma. In 1936 he went to New York, where he met the writers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; shortly afterwards his stories and articles began to appear in magazines and journals. His debut novel, Invisible Man (1952), won the National Book Award and established Ellison as a major figure in twentieth-century fiction.