Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 28, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
343 TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE 730 RIVERSIDE DRIVE ain’t Air Force ALABAMA Albert Murray American Anyway asked bitch blues boys Casablanca cats chick copy couldn’t crackers crap cultural damn dance Dear Albert Dear Ralph didn’t Duke Fanny Fanny’s Faulkner feel French getting glad goddamn going guess haven’t he’s hear hell Hemingway hope I’ve interesting Invisible Jack Jack the Bear jazz Jimmy Rushing Juneteenth kids lecture Leica let me know letter literary living look Man’s Mique Mokie Moque Mort Mose Mozelle Murray’s National Book Award Negro novel Paris Partisan Review piece playing pretty Ralph Ellison Review Rome seems shit sound story stuff summer sure T. S. Eliot talking tell there’s they’re thing thought told trip trying TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE week what’s who’s write YORK 31 you’re