Ralph Waldo Ellison took a circuitous path to novel writing. At the height of the Cold War and during the nascent stages of the successfully organized Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s Ellison finally arrived as a novelist with the publication in 1952 of Invisible Man. His debut novel, and ultimately his only completed novel during his lifetime, made a lasting impact on the literature of the United States. In this novel, Ralph Ellison collects the particularities of African American culture while telling a story that speaks beyond the borders of his central character’s specific cultural inheritance. Ellison situates universal ideas in events and characters that operate in the novel within the firm context of the folklore, music, idiom, and politics of African American

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Citation: Jimoh, A Yemisi. "Invisible Man". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 June 2003; last revised 20 March 2012. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4394, accessed 25 July 2024.]

4394 Invisible Man 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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