April 29, 1999 Ralph Ellison's Two Novels To Be Discussed at the Library of Congress June 29 and 30

Press Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221 | Office of Scholarly Programs (202) 707-3302

Ralph Ellison's literary executor, scholar and editor John F. Callahan, will make two presentations at the Library of Congress in late June. On Tuesday, June 29, he will deliver the Bradley Lecture, "On Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man," at 6:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. On Wednesday, June 30, he will present a talk in the Books & Beyond series, "Juneteenth: On Editing Ellison's Posthumous Novel," at 6:30 p.m. in the Mumford Room on the Madison Building's sixth floor. Both presentations are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

In 1952, Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) published his first novel, Invisible Man. It won the American Book Award and today it is considered one of the most significant American novels since World War II. It is a powerful classic that, according to John Callahan, "compels others to see their reality through the prism of the African American experience."

Juneteenth, Ellison's long-awaited second novel, which he considered unfinished at the time of his death, will be published in June by Random House under Mr. Callahan's editorship. In preparing Juneteenth, Mr. Callahan, who teaches at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., drew heavily on the Library of Congress, the repository of Ellison's papers. Ellison's personal library also is at the Library of Congress.

Mr. Callahan is well known for his work in American literature. His numerous publications include In the African-American Grain: The Pursuit of Voice in 20th Century Black Fiction and essays on African American writers and his friends Michael S. Harper, Alice Walker, and Ellison. His Modern Library edition of The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison was published by Random House in 1995. Flying Home and Other Stories, which collected for the first time Ralph Ellison's short fiction written between 1937 and 1954, was published in 1996.

The Bradley Lecture series is made possible by a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee to give eminently qualified scholars the opportunity to discuss texts of great historical importance in social and political thought. For further information, call the Office of Scholarly Programs at (202) 707-3302.

The Books & Beyond series features authors of recent books that are related to the Library's collections or programs. For further information, call the Center for the Book at (202) 707-5221, or visit the center's Web site at https://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.


PR 99-059
ISSN 0731-3527