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Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray Paperback – 15 May 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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Review

“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

From the Inside Flap

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.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Vintage; New edition (15 May 2001)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0375708057
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0375708053
  • Item Weight : 255 g
  • Dimensions : 13.13 x 1.35 x 20.32 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
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Randolph Severson
5.0 out of 5 stars culture and friendship
Reviewed in the United States on 13 May 2015
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Amiel Handelsman
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional riffs
Reviewed in the United States on 24 July 2020
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Roy Duxbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service
Reviewed in the United States on 16 September 2019
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FMI
5.0 out of 5 stars These two are a must read.
Reviewed in the United States on 7 September 2013
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2 people found this helpful
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