Authors & Events
May 15, 2001
| ISBN 9780375708053
Apr 28, 2010
| ISBN 9780307560742
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May 15, 2001 | ISBN 9780375708053
Apr 28, 2010 | ISBN 9780307560742
This absorbing collection of letters spans a decade in the lifelong friendship of two remarkable writers who engaged the subjects of literature, race, and identity with deep clarity and passion.The correspondence begins in 1950 when Ellison is living in New York City, hard at work on his enduring masterpiece, Invisible Man, and Murray is a professor at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Mirroring a jam session in which two jazz musicians "trade twelves"—each improvising twelve bars of music around the same musical idea-their lively dialog centers upon their respective writing, the jazz they both love so well, on travel, family, the work literary contemporaries (including Richard Wright, James Baldwin, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway) and the challenge of racial inclusiveness that they wish to pose to America through their craft. Infused with warmth, humor, and great erudition, Trading Twelves offers a glimpse into literary history in the making—and into a powerful and enduring friendship.
Ralph Ellison (1914–1994) was born in Oklahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at… More about Ralph Ellison
Albert Murray is the author of The Omni-Americans, Stomping the Blues, The Hero and the Blues, South to a Very Old… More about Albert Murray
“An invaluable slice of literary history…. Fascinating and endlessly informative.”–The Miami Herald“The greatest pleasure to be found in Trading Twelves is the warmth of friendship.”–The New York Times Book Review“The prospect of reading letters exchanged between Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray suggests an opportunity to eavesdrop on history in the making.”–The Washington Post Book World
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