Invisible Man (Penguin Modern Classics)

3.83 avg rating
( 121,094 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780141184425: Invisible Man (Penguin Modern Classics)

The lives of countless millions are evoked in Ralph Ellison's superb portrait of a generation of black Americans, Invisible Man. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by John F. Callahan, as well as an introduction by the author.

Ralph Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison's invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual. As John Callahan says, 'In an extraordinary imaginative leap, he hit upon a single word for the different yet shared condition of African Americans, Americans, and, for that matter, the human individual in the twentieth century and beyond.'

This edition includes Ralph Ellison's introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel's seven-year gestation.

Ralph Waldo Ellison (1914-94), named for the poet Emerson, was born in Oklahoma. At the age of nineteen he won a scholarship to study music at Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute. 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. After the Second World War Ellison was awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship, allowing him to concentrate on the composition of Invisible Man (1952), which won the National Book Award and established Ellison as a major figure in twentieth-century fiction.

If you enjoyed Invisible Man, you might like E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

A classic from the moment it first appeared in 1952, The Invisible Man chronicles the travels of its narrator, a young, nameless black man, as he moves through the hellish levels of American intolerance and cultural blindness. Searching for a context in which to know himself, he exists in a very peculiar state. "I am an invisible man," he says in his prologue, "When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me." But this is hard-won self-knowledge, earned over the course of many years.

As the book gets started, the narrator is expelled from his Southern Negro college for inadvertently showing a white trustee the reality of black life in the south, including an incestuous farmer and a rural whorehouse. The college director chastises him: "Why, the dumbest black bastard in the cotton patch knows that the only way to please a white man is to tell him a lie! What kind of an education are you getting around here?" Mystified, the narrator moves north to New York City, where the truth, at least as he perceives it, is dealt another blow when he learns that his former headmaster's recommendation letters are, in fact, letters of condemnation.

What ensues is a search for what truth actually is, which proves to be supremely elusive. The narrator becomes a spokesman for a mixed-race band of social activists called "The Brotherhood" and believes he is fighting for equality. Once again, he realises he's been duped into believing what hethought was the truth, when in fact it is only another variation. Of the Brothers, he eventually discerns: "They were blind, bat blind, moving only by the echoed sounds of their voices. And because they were blind they would destroy themselves.... Here I thought they accepted me because they felt that colour made no difference, when in reality it made no difference because they didn't see either colour or men".

Invisible Man is certainly a book about race in America, andsadly enough, few of the problems it chronicles have disappeared even now. But Ellison's first novel transcends such a narrow definition. It's also a book about the human race stumbling down the path to identity, challenged and successful to varying degrees. None of us can ever be sure of the truth beyond ourselves, and possibly not even there. The world isa tricky place, and no one knows this better than the invisible man, who leaves us with these chilling, provocative words: "And it is this which frightens me: Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?" --Melanie Rehak, Amazon.com

About the Author:

INVISIBLE MAN established Ralph Ellison as the author of one of the most important and influential American novels of the twentieth century. He is remembered as a writer who captured a true sense of the African-American experience. JUNETEENTH joins INVISIBLE MAN and FLYING HOME & OTHER STORIES on the Penguin Modern Classics list.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2001. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # CP-9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.18
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century The Times It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves Ralph Ellison s blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible simply because people refuse to see me . Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison s invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual to give voice to the experience of an entire generation of black Americans. This edition includes Ralph Ellison s introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel s seven-year gestation. With an Introduction by John F. Callahan Brilliant Saul Bellow. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.42
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century The Times It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves Ralph Ellison s blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible simply because people refuse to see me . Published in 1952 when American society was in the cusp of immense change, the powerfully depicted adventures of Ellison s invisible man - from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual to give voice to the experience of an entire generation of black Americans. This edition includes Ralph Ellison s introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of Invisible Man, a fascinating account of the novel s seven-year gestation. With an Introduction by John F. Callahan Brilliant Saul Bellow. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Ellison, Ralph
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801411844250000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From U.S.A. to United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Classics (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Speedy Hen
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Classics, 2001. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0141184426. Bookseller Inventory # ST0141184426

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2001-08-02, London (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 2001-08-02, London, 2001. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Classics 2001-08-02 (2001)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Classics 2001-08-02, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00637111

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.50
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Ellison, Ralph
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 'One of the most important American novels of the twentieth century' The Times 'It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves' Ralph Ellison's blistering and impassioned first novel tells the extraordinary story of a man invisible 'simply because. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141184425_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2007)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK), 2007. Book Condition: New. 2007. Paperback. Tells the story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. In this book, the author from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual. Series: Penguin Modern Classics. Num Pages: 624 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 432. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Ellison, Ralph
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
ISBN 10: 0141184426 ISBN 13: 9780141184425
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK). Book Condition: New. 2007. Paperback. Tells the story of a man invisible 'simply because people refuse to see me'. In this book, the author from his expulsion from a Southern college to a terrifying Harlem race riot - go far beyond the story of one individual. Series: Penguin Modern Classics. Num Pages: 624 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 432. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141184425

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From U.S.A. to United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book