Written between 1937 and 1954 and now available in paperback for the first time, these thirteen stories are a potent distillation of the genius of Ralph Ellison. Six of them remained unpublished during Ellison's lifetime and were discovered among the author's effects in a folder labeled "Early Stories." But they all bear the hallmarks--the thematic reach, musically layered voices, and sheer ebullience--that Ellison would bring to his classic Invisible Man.
The tales in Flying Home range in setting from the Jim Crow South to a Harlem bingo parlor, from the hobo jungles of the Great Depression to Wales during the Second World War. By turns lyrical, scathing, touching, and transcendently wise, Flying Home and Other Stories is a historic volume, an extravagant last bequest from a giant of our literature.
Though he was the author of two highly regarded collections of essays, Ralph Ellison's fame rests on his prize-winning novel Invisible Man. For years, he labored on another novel, but he died in 1994 with it still unpublished. Here, Ellison's literary executor, John F. Callahan, collects 13 stories, many of which are published for the first time. The stories give us an intriguing look at Ralph Ellison's development as a writer (some early ones, for example, clearly show the influence of Hemingway), and his early attempts to articulate his concerns about the nature of blackness and the American identity.