Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar, and writer. He is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote two collections of essays: Shadow and Act (1964) and Going to the Territory (1986). His awards and distinctions include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, being made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France, election to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the dedication of the Ralph Waldo Ellison Library in his hometown of Oklahoma City, New York City College’s Langston Hughes Medal, the National Medal of Arts, and a special achievement award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. After his death, more manuscripts were discovered in his home, resulting in the publication of Flying Home and Other Stories in 1996. Ellison’s second novel, Juneteenth, was published in 1999. It is a 368-page condensation of more than 2,000 pages written over forty years. All of the manuscripts of this incomplete novel were published collectively in 2010 under the title Three Days Before the Shooting.