Ralph Ellison

The Black Ball
  • The Black Ball

  • 'If he only knew what it was, he would fix it; he would kill this mean thing that made Mama feel so bad.'

    Belonging and estrangement intertwine in these four lyrical short stories from the the author of Invisible Man.

    Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

Ralph Waldo Ellison (1914-94) was born in Oklahoma. In 1936 he went to New York, where he met the writers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright; shortly afterwards his stories and articles began to appear in magazines and journals. His debut novel, Invisible Man (1952), won the National Book Award and established Ellison as a major figure in twentieth-century fiction.