Ralph Ellison by Lawrence Jackson
Emergence of Genius

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Praise for
Ralph Ellison
Emergence of Genius

"Dr. Lawrence Jackson’s remarkable biography of Ralph Ellison is an essential contribution to the scholarship on one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. Painstakingly researched and exhaustive, this compelling portrait of Ellison clarifies his genius––and his intellectual era––for a new century."––Charles Johnson, National Book Award Winner and author of Middle Passage

"Lawrence Jackson’s absorbing biography of Ralph Ellison makes a vital contribution to American literary history."––Ross Posnock, English Department, New York University, Author of Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual

"Professor Lawrence Jackson’s painstaking documentation of Ralph Ellison’s early life and the beginning of his literary career provides a much needed resource for Ellison’s readers and critics."––Horace Porter, author of Jazz Country: Ralph Ellison in America and Director of African Studies at the University of Iowa

"An eloquently written and exquisitely researched biography. There is nothing quite like it. Jackson breathes life into those hidden nooks and crannies of Ellison’s youth that would later become cannon fodder for the grown Ellison’s explorations. An utterly groundbreaking biography, the idea of Ralph Ellison will never be the same."––Jerry Watts, author of Heroism and the Black Intellectual: Ralph Ellison, Politics, and Afro-American Intellectual Life


About Lawrence Jackson

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LAWRENCE JACKSON is Assistant Professor of English at Howard University, where he specializes in African American literature and criticism. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship and was Resident Fellow at Harvard’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute while completing this book. Jackson holds a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Stanford University, and an M.A. in English from Ohio State University. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Published March 1, 2002 by Wiley. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ralph Ellison

Publishers Weekly

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(The fragments were put together by Ellison's executor and published in 1999 as Juneteenth.) Material on Ellison's early years is hard to come by, and readers will find few of the anecdotes, letters or quotations that make up biographers' usual stock-in-trade.

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Project MUSE

Professor Jackson carefully situates Ellison's life in the times that so profoundly shaped his parents and the young Ellison.

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Project MUSE

Limited to the period immediately following the publication of Invisible Man, the biography begins with Ellison's family background and a social history of blacks in Oklahoma, particularly Oklahoma City, where Ellison spent his boyhood.

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