The first edition of this classic Ralph Ellison book was published by Random House in 1952. It was 439 pages long, and the original retail price was $3.50 . First edition criteria are: FIRST PRINTING is stated on the copyright page. binding is beige and black cloth boards with illustrations and lettered on the spine, and dark blue top stain. The dust jacket has $3.50 price and the author's picture on the back. The dust jacket seems to be unchanged across at least the first four printings.
Invisible Man won the National Book Award. This book is also one of Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels. Other Time 100 Novels include The Catcher in the Rye and The Adventures of Augie March
Picture of the 1952 first edition dust jacket for Invisible Man.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Invisible Man.
The first edition dust jacket of Invisible Man has a price of $3.50 and a blurb that begins with "It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching - yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places. It is a book that has a great deal to say and which is destined to have a great deal said about it."
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Invisible Man.
Picture of the first edition Random House boards for Invisible Man.
The presence of "A.B." on the bottom of the copyright page is sometimes thought to be a first issue point. But we do not believe it is because we have found "A.B." on the bottom of second, third, and fourth printing copyright pages.
Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and correct it.