'Invisible Man': Why Ralph Ellison's Classic Novel Still Matters
March 1, 2014 would have been Ralph Waldo Ellison’s 100th birthday, so I’d like to use this occasion to call attention to a novel that remains news more than a half-century after it was published. “Invisible Man,” published in 1952, was the first novel written by an African American to win the National Book Award. It is a magisterial work of fiction, combining allusions to great works of literature with keen insight into the complex psychology and painful social reality of being a black man in mid-20th century America. Moreover, it is engaging, mysterious, funny, sad, brainy, and honest. In short, it’s a must-read.