Invisible Man

(image via  studentpulse.com )

(image via studentpulse.com)

This year, a friend and I began a book club - he in Oakland, me in Seattle - which kicked off with Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve, a portentous start which seemed difficult to follow. But something about New Eve brought Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man to mind for my friend, and off we went. The similarities are remarkable - both follow a protagonist as he's cannon-balled through a kaleidoscope of violence, race, sex and conspiracy and both authors write with a fearless imagination fueled by red-hot anger. Published 65 years ago, Invisible Man still speaks directly to the present. Each chapter is a beautifully-rendered, frightening vignette of America's ongoing encounter with racism and power. While the imagery and symbolism of Invisible Man is often direct, the meaning of its events may make more sense to the heart than the head on the first pass. This book was an unforgettable experience. What could possibly follow it?