Ralph Ellison and the genius of America /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Parrish, Timothy, 1964-
Imprint:Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c2012.
Description:xiv, 253 p. ; 23 cm.
Subject:Ellison, Ralph -- Criticism and interpretation.
Ellison, Ralph.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/8690182
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9781558499225 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1558499229 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9781558499218 (library cloth : alk. paper)
1558499210 (library cloth : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

In great part in response to Arnold Rampersad's biography Ralph Ellison (CH, Dec'07, 45-1908), Parrish (Florida State Univ.) focuses on Ellison's lifelong accomplishment, e.g., his attempt to respond to W. E. B. Du Bois's call: "How does it feel to be a problem?" Parrish contends that Ellison responds to this question not only in his canonical Invisible Man (which he identifies as "one of the very few essential novels of American literature") but also in his posthumously published second novel, Three Days. Thus, whereas many of Ellison's biographers, like Rampersad, seem to be concerned with the incomplete literary life of Ellison, his "one novel," Parrish astutely shows a more complete life. In four chapters, Parrish explores the problems "with a literary history that obsesses over what an author chooses not to publish and ... renders its judgment ... without ever reading the actual pages that author did in fact write." In addition, Parrish bears witness to the shackles placed on Ellison's genius during his lifetime and into the present. He ponders why Ellison did not publish his second novel (and whether it should have been published). In sum, Parrish cuts through the propaganda of discourse and reminds the reader of Ellison's genius. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. P. D. Hopkins Christopher Newport University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review