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Invisible Man Unknown - 1995

by Ellison, Ralph

About this book

Even though Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man is sometimes featured on banned books lists, it remains a consistent staple on many high school reading curriculums. In the novel, Ellison laments the feeling of hopelessness and invisibility that many Black men experience in the United States, and it elegantly explores the themes of racism and bigotry in ways that are both unsettling and accessible.

First Edition Identification

Invisible Man was first published in 1952 by Random House for the price of $3.50. The classic dust jacket featured the outline of a man centered in what may be a scope of some kind, contradicting the inherent notion of invisibility. The author's picture is featured on the back dust jacket cover. 

True first printings are easy to identify, as the text “First Printing” is clearly visible on the copyright page. Some believe the presence of “A.B” on the bottom of the copyright page is indicative of a first printing, but that text has also been found on other printings as well. So if you believe you have a true first printing of Invisible Man, always check the top of the copyright page for the distinctive “First Printing” text. Additionally, when you remove the dust jacket of first editions, you will see an illustration on the top half and spine of the Random House boards. 

Like many Random House first printings, the pricing information of Invisible Man can be found at the top right-hand corner of the inside dust jacket flap. That information may not be included in later printings or subsequent book club editions.


  • Title Invisible Man
  • Author Ellison, Ralph
  • Binding unknown
  • Edition 2nd Vintage Inte
  • Publisher Demco Media
  • Date 1995-03
  • ISBN 9780606016179