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Ralph Ellison

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May 10, 1998 | SAUL BELLOW, Saul Bellow was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize for literature. "Ralph Ellison in Tivoli" first appeared in "News from the Republic of Letters," a literary magazine featuring fiction and commentary, edited by Bellow and Keith Botsford
Some 40 years ago I came into a small legacy and with it I bought a house in Tivoli, N.Y. "House" is not the word for it; it was, or once had been, a Hudson River mansion. It had a Dutch cellar kitchen of flagstones and a kitchen fireplace. There was a dumbwaiter to the vanished dining room above. The first floor had a ballroom but according to my informants, Tivoli's townspeople, no one had danced in it for 80 years. Tivoli had been the birthplace of Eleanor Roosevelt.
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NATIONAL
September 24, 2013 | By David Zucchino
ASHEBORO, N.C. - If a county could blush, Randolph County just might. The school board in this largely rural county, to the embarrassment of many residents, voted last week to ban Ralph Ellison's iconic novel of African American angst, "Invisible Man. " In a 5-2 vote, the board barred the book from all school libraries in the county after the mother of an 11th-grader complained that the novel was "too much for teenagers. " But confronted by an angry backlash and concerns that the ban had shamed the county, the board backed down and scheduled a special meeting Wednesday in order to reconsider the book's status.
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NEWS
April 17, 1994 | BURT A. FOLKART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ralph Ellison, whose only novel, "Invisible Man," became not only a dramatic cry for racial understanding but a work cherished over four decades for its complex yet poignant literary style, died Saturday. He was 80. Ellison, whose essays and novel propelled him into the front ranks of 20th-Century American fiction, died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Harlem, said Joe Fox, his editor at Random House, Ellison's publisher. Fox said Ellison had been ill for only a short time.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man" has been banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C. The book is considered by many to be an masterful novel dealing with race in America. “I didn't find any literary value,” said school board member Gary Mason before the board voted 5-2 to ban the book.  Ellison's "Invisible Man" won the National Book Award in 1953. In 1965, a national poll of book critics deemed it the greatest American novel written since World War II. The book was brought before the board by a parent who lodged a 12-page complaint, Asheboro's Courier-Tribune reports . She found the book's contents inappropriate for her child, an 11th grader, citing its lack of innocence, its language and sexual content.
BOOKS
May 6, 2007 | Valerie Boyd, Valerie Boyd, who teaches journalism at the University of Georgia, is the author of "Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston."
JUSTLY celebrated as one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century, Ralph Ellison was also a prickly, polarizing man, a definitive new biography shows. Arnold Rampersad's exhaustive -- and sometimes exhausting -- book about the author of "Invisible Man" offers an unflinching portrait of Ellison as a brilliant, belligerent artist.
BOOKS
June 20, 1999 | JONATHAN LEVI, Jonathan Levi is a contributing writer to Book Review and the author of "A Guide for the Perplexed: A Novel."
"History has put to us three fatal questions, has written them across our sky in accents of accusation," Sen. Adam Sunraider shouts from the well of the Senate in Ralph Ellison's "Juneteenth." "They are, How can the many be as one? How can the future deny the Past? And How can the light deny the dark?" The year is 1955, and the "us" that the Senator refers to is the American people. And the three questions the Senator asks can be lumped under the great American rubric of Race.
NEWS
June 4, 2001 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"In those days, it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live." The irresistibly quotable first sentence of Ralph Ellison's 1955 essay "Living With Music" sounds a distinctive note: strikingly direct, yet subtly ironic, hinting at complex undertones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1994
Re the Ralph Ellison obituary, April 17: While the late author Ralph Ellison credited Fats Waller's "Black and Blue" lyric "with driving him to focus the painful introspection of autobiography that was evidenced in 'Invisible Man,' " it was Andy Razaf ("Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose"), the black, American-born son of a Madagascaran nobleman, Waller's longtime lyricist, who must be credited with "what did I do to be so black and blue." Further "credit" should go to the gangster Dutch Schultz for inspiring Razaf, who inspired Ellison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2005 | From a Times Staff Writer
Fanny McConnell Ellison, who helped edit husband Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," which is regarded as one of the 20th century's great novels, has died. She was 93. Ellison died of complications from hip surgery Nov. 19 at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. The poet Langston Hughes arranged for her to meet Ralph Ellison, and the pair were married from 1946 until his death in 1994.
NEWS
October 22, 1992
Kip Dellinger's letter (Times, Oct. 15) accuses Santa Monica High School teachers of having a common political agenda. He could not be more mistaken. We differ dramatically on almost every issue except one--our determination to provide a first-rate education for students. This is our agenda. To accuse the school of shrinking from honest discourse is absurd. I invite Mr. Dellinger to visit our classes, where he could in one day hear students discussing authors as varied as Sophocles, Sandra Cisneros, Homer, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright and Shakespeare.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
The writer Albert Murray, a maverick intellectual who challenged widespread assumptions about U.S. and African American culture, has died in New York City at age 97. Murray, a novelist as well as essayist and literary and music critic, wrote more than a dozen books, beginning in 1970s with the seminal “The Omni-Americans: Black Experience and American Culture,” which posed a searing critique of both black separatism and white establishment ideas...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2010 | By Christopher Sorrentino
After J.D. Salinger died in January, speculation began anew about the possibility that his New Hampshire study might be packed with 45 years' worth of unpublished writings, the fruit of his extraordinary reticence. The question of whether such work should be published is in the hands of his heirs and executors, and I don't envy them. New work by the dead -- from Vladimir Nabokov to Ralph Ellison -- appears regularly, almost always raising familiar questions: Is this what the writer wanted?
BOOKS
May 6, 2007 | Valerie Boyd, Valerie Boyd, who teaches journalism at the University of Georgia, is the author of "Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston."
JUSTLY celebrated as one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century, Ralph Ellison was also a prickly, polarizing man, a definitive new biography shows. Arnold Rampersad's exhaustive -- and sometimes exhausting -- book about the author of "Invisible Man" offers an unflinching portrait of Ellison as a brilliant, belligerent artist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2005 | From a Times Staff Writer
Fanny McConnell Ellison, who helped edit husband Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," which is regarded as one of the 20th century's great novels, has died. She was 93. Ellison died of complications from hip surgery Nov. 19 at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. The poet Langston Hughes arranged for her to meet Ralph Ellison, and the pair were married from 1946 until his death in 1994.
OPINION
February 29, 2004 | Lucas E. Morel, Lucas E. Morel is a professor of politics at Washington and Lee University and editor of "Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to 'Invisible Man,' " just out from the University Press of Kentucky.
Monday marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Ellison, whose landmark novel "Invisible Man" made "invisibility" a metaphor for our inability to see each other's full humanity. Published in 1952, the novel chronicles a black man's search for identity in an America that refuses to "see" him. As Americans struggle today to become more colorblind in their public and private interactions, Ellison's writings offer much to improve our social and political vision.
BOOKS
September 15, 2002 | PATRICK GILES, Patrick Giles is associate editor of Interview magazine.
I first read "Invisible Man" when I lived not far from where its author wrote it, while discovering how I, too, could be invisible. I had moved to Harlem with a friend in 1985. We were practically the only whites in that part of town and the first to live on our block. "I can't remember the last time your kind of people moved in here," an elderly resident admitted.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2002 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Unlike the nameless hero of his landmark novel, Ralph Ellison was no "Invisible Man." When his searing, surreal tale of a young black man's quest for identity in racist America was published in 1952, Ellison became a literary sensation. But like the hero's grandfather, whose raspy deathbed rant lingers throughout the novel, Ellison was a constant puzzle.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
The writer Albert Murray, a maverick intellectual who challenged widespread assumptions about U.S. and African American culture, has died in New York City at age 97. Murray, a novelist as well as essayist and literary and music critic, wrote more than a dozen books, beginning in 1970s with the seminal “The Omni-Americans: Black Experience and American Culture,” which posed a searing critique of both black separatism and white establishment ideas...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2002 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Unlike the nameless hero of his landmark novel, Ralph Ellison was no "Invisible Man." When his searing, surreal tale of a young black man's quest for identity in racist America was published in 1952, Ellison became a literary sensation. But like the hero's grandfather, whose raspy deathbed rant lingers throughout the novel, Ellison was a constant puzzle.
NEWS
June 4, 2001 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"In those days, it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live." The irresistibly quotable first sentence of Ralph Ellison's 1955 essay "Living With Music" sounds a distinctive note: strikingly direct, yet subtly ironic, hinting at complex undertones.
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