In this six-minute radio segment produced for the NPR program “All Things Considered,” Tom Vitale celebrates the centenary of Ellison’s birth. The segment, which is available here in both audio and text versions, discusses the genesis of Ellison’s landmark novel, Invisible Man.
This video features a presentation by Ralph Ellison’s official biographer, Arnold Rampersad, who was the first scholar to get complete access to the archive containing Ellison’s papers at the Library of Congress. In his hour-long address, Rampersad discusses Ellison’s life as well as his own work in recording that life.
In his essay for Early Bird Books, Alexander Montgomery reflects on the continued relevance of Invisible Man in the United States today. Montgomery pays particular attention to how the events represented in the novel relate to the recent Black Lives Matter movement and to contemporary activism against police brutality.
This nine-minute interview was recorded in 1970 for WOI News in Des Moines, Iowa. Prompted by Dorcas Speer’s questions, Ellison opens up about his experience winning the National Book Award for Invisible Man, critical reactions to his novel, the essays collected in Shadow and Act, and his working process.
This page features an interview between jazz historian and critic Joe Maita and the literature scholar Robert O’Meally. O’Meally describes how he came to edit a landmark collection of Ralph Ellison’s writings on jazz, titled Living with Music. He also discusses the profound relationship Ellison had to jazz, and why his writing on the subject remains significant.
In her thoughtful essay for LitHub, Gabrielle Bellot situates Ellison’s novel in a broader context of race and racial bias in the mid-century United States. Although the novel pays close attention to the complex relationship between Black and white Americans, Bellot discusses how Invisible Man nonetheless renders African and Caribbean immigrants invisible.
Felicia R. Lee reports in The New York Times on a 2013 adaptation of Invisible Man for the stage. Playwright Oren Jacoby wrote the script for the three-act stage version, which opened Boston following sold-out stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The article includes a short video clip from the production.
In 2019, to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the novel’s publication, LitHub gathered together 25 different covers of Invisible Man. The various images presented here have graced the covers of various English-language editions of the novel, as well as translations into French, Italian, German, Greek, Romanian, and other languages.