Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison was an African American novelist, literary critic, and scholar best known for his novel 'Invisible Man,' which won the National Book Award in 1953. Ellison's exploration of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans of his time, particularly the concept of individual identity, made a significant impact on the landscape of American literature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Invisible Man

    The novel is a poignant exploration of a young African-American man's journey through life, where he grapples with issues of race, identity, and individuality in mid-20th-century America. The protagonist, who remains unnamed throughout the story, considers himself socially invisible due to his race. The narrative follows his experiences from the South to the North, from being a student to a worker, and his involvement in the Brotherhood, a political organization. The book is a profound critique of societal norms and racial prejudice, highlighting the protagonist's struggle to assert his identity in a world that refuses to see him.

  2. 2. Shadow and ACT

    This book is a collection of essays that explore the complexities of racial identity and the cultural and social issues surrounding it. The author delves into his own experiences as an African American man in the mid-20th century, offering a poignant commentary on the racial divide in America. He also discusses the role of literature and music, particularly jazz, in shaping identity and understanding. The book is a thoughtful examination of the intersection of individual identity and societal expectations.