By Edith Schor
Schor traces the development of Ralph Ellison's writings from the earliest experiments to the major accomplishment of his novel Invisible Man, the mature prose of the Hickman Stories, and the other published portions of his novel-in-progress. The study considers the two-fold obligation Ellison felt in committing himself to literature: a commitment to the craft of fiction and to the shaping of a culture. The early stories mark Ellison's "mazelike" route that developed the skill, talent, and imagination and personal vision to transform experience into art. In Schor's discussion of Ellison's work, essays and interviews are used to comment directly on the fiction, as are insights by other critics. The study concludes with a bibliography of Ellison's fiction and nonfiction and a selected secondary bibliography.