Three Days Before The Shooting...

Three Days Before the Shooting

The Modern Library edition of Ellison's second novel, edited by John F. Callahan and Adam Bradley (Random House, 2010)

The Book

Ralph Ellison spent nearly forty years composing his second novel, a follow-up to his 1952 classic, Invisible Man. While he kept writing until just before his death in 1994, he would never finish the book. Instead, Ellison left behind thousands of pages of notes, typescript drafts, and computer print-outs that together comprise an expansive vision of his novel so long in-progress.

For fifteen years, the vast majority of this material has been restricted from public view. With the publication of Three Days Before the Shooting... in January 2010, readers and scholars alike will have the opportunity to see what Ellison kept to himself for more than half his life.

My Story

I have been working with Ellison's manuscripts in one capacity or another since I was nineteen years-old, first as a research assistant to Ellison's literary executor, John Callahan, and now as co-editor with Professor Callahan on this unprecedented posthumous publication. While a small, but significant portion of Ellison's second novel was published as Juneteenth in 1999, the vast majority of Three Days Before the Shooting... will be new to readers.

More Information

To read more about the remarkable saga of Ellison's second novel, see Wil Haygood's magnificent piece "Invisible Manuscript," which appeared in the Washington Post Magazine.

Read the transcript from the online chat with Adam and Wil

Adam Bradley, associate English professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and John Callahan, literary executor of the estate of Ralph Elison, presented Ralph Ellison's posthumous second novel, which is derived from over three thousand pages that the author left following his death in 1994. Ralph Ellison, the author of Invisible Man, never published another novel during his lifetime and worked on his follow-up book for forty years. Adam Bradley and Jim Callahan discussed Ellison's efforts to complete his second novel at McNally Jackson Books in New York City. Feb 3, 2010.

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