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In 1952 a first novel by a virtually unknown black American named
Ralph Waldo Ellison was published. Reviews of the novel were ecstatic,
and in 1953 Ellison's Invisible Man won a prestigious National
Book Award for Fiction. Suddenly the author was in great demand
for interviews and lectures, and he found himself being compared
not only with black writers like Richard Wright, but also with Herman
Melville and Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner.
Invisible Man was a phenomenon. In 1965 the phenomenon took on even
greater proportions when a group of some 200 authors, critics, and
editors named Invisible Man the most distinguished American novel
of the previous twenty years. More...