Invisible Man cover designed by Logan Bliss

Instructor Peter Franks on Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

February 11, 2020

The next installment of our Wonderwork series focuses on a classic African American novel. CU Denver faculty, students, staff, and alumni can recommend a book that deserves more readers by emailing cudenvernews@ucdenver.edu or posting on social media with #CUDenverwonderwork.


“What I love about Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952) is that it captures the new spirit of the age of electricity from a fugitive perspective, 70 years after the first electric bulb lit a New York station. It’s the late-noir jazz age in musical form. It’s hard boiled, riffing on H. G. Wells’ science fiction and Dostoyevsky’s underground, under the dusk of Jim Crow in Harlem. Between the electrified top and its last modulated refrain, you get a consciousness navigating the complex history of African American (and Americas) contributions to the old international liberation struggles and the entanglements of race in the mid-century United States.”

– Peter Franks, Instructor in the English Department


Book art by Logan Bliss, from the 2016 Banned Books Week Art Contest at Pine Creek Library Learning Commons.