Ralph Waldo Ellison (1913-1994) began life as an infant in Oklahoma City and ended it as one of the most successful and celebrated novelists in the world. And this reputation was largely due to one book, the masterpiece Invisible Man (1952), which transcended the limitations that the American reading public placed on African American writers to become what Time magazine later called “the quintessential American picaresque of the twentieth century.” Admired by critics and bought in large numbers by readers around the world, Invisible Man seemed to herald the beginning of a long and promising writing career for Ellison, but unfortunately, that was not to be: for the next forty years, he struggled to publish more fiction, chasing a perfection he could never manage to achieve.
In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life of Ralph Waldo Ellison, then is joined by Mike Palindrome, the president of the Literature Supporters Club, to discuss Ellison’s plight and the top 10 cases of writers block.
Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to email@example.com.
New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now you can at paypal.me/jackewilson. Your generosity is much appreciated!
The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.