Invincible Man: Ralph Ellison 1914-1994

The words still seep into the reader's marrow, 42 years after they were first ( published. "I am an invisible man," Ralph Ellison declared in the opening sentence of his only novel. "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." If they do register his presence, it is as "a figure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy."

Invisible Man, in which a young black relates the surreal events leading to his ultimate isolation, earned best-novel-of-its-time raves from the college of critics. It established Ellison in the permanent firmament of American writers,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!