By Arnold Rampersad
This biography of Ralph Ellison asks: What happened to this promising writer's long-awaited second novel, and to the man himself? And after asking the questions, it provides answers. The acclaim that greeted Ellison's 1952 debut novel "Invisible Man" consolidated his status as a cosmopolitan, certified New York intellectual. But the sparkling achievement, and the honors that followed, bore their own cost over the ensuing decades. The author chronicles the toll that Ellison's position took on him, in a book that lifts the veil and reveals the personality behind the persona.
—Michael Kenney / Globe Correspondent