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Excellent book if you're only going to write one novel, you might as well make it one that everyone is going to remember
I'm not sure if writing just one was ever his real intent, but most of ralph ellison's writing career consisted of essays, some short stories and one other novel that was published posthumously (and even that is an assembly of much larger pieces he had been working on over the years)
I feel like its the kind of book that people stay away from because they perceive it as a black novel with little resonance for anyone who isn't african-american, or people will read it for the wrong reasons, to smugly show how much they understand what its like to be black in america because they're sensitive enough to gravitate toward works like this one
There's a ring of sad absurdity to these scenes as you read them with the vague hope that ellison is exaggerating, both in presentation and reaction but even when the proceedings come across as a distorted satire there's more than enough truth buried in it to give you pause as the narrator is introduced to the one concept that will pretty mines underlines the rest of the novel: it's a white world and this is what you have to do to live in it