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Albert Murray
Albert Murray Enlarge Photo

Photo © 2005 Joan Bingham

  • About this Author
author spotlight

Albert Murray is the author of The Omni-Americans, Stomping the Blues, The Hero and the Blues, South to a Very Old Place, Conjugations and Reiterations, and From the Briarpatch File. He is the coauthor of Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie and the coeditor of Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. He lives in New York City.

author bookshelf
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Exam Copy
Trading Twelves
The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Written by Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Preface by Albert Murray
Edited by John Callahan
Introduction by John Callahan


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 15, 2001
Price: $15.00

The correspondence between Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray 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... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Trading Twelves
The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Written by Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Preface by Albert Murray
Edited by John Callahan
Introduction by John Callahan


Format: eBook, 272 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 28, 2010
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Blue Devils of Nada
A Contemporary American Approach to Aesthetic Statement
Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 24, 1997
Price: $16.95

Murray gives readers the redefined essence of his lifetime meditation on the blues as this musical style informs American life. Here are incisive essays on writing, music, and art that go beyond the social-science fiction of Negrohood to describe in no uncertain terms what it means to be American. Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Blue Devils of Nada
A Contemporary American Approach to Aesthetic Statement
Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 252 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 19, 2012
Price: $13.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Hero And the Blues

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 16, 1996
Price: $15.00

In this visionary book, Murray takes an audacious new look at black music and, in the process, succeeds in changing the way one reads literature. Murray's subject is the previously unacknowledged kinship between fiction and the blues. Both, he argues, are virtuoso performances that impart information, wisdom, and moral guidance to... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Hero And the Blues

Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 112 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 19, 2012
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Magic Keys

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 8, 2006
Price: $13.00

The Magic Keys winningly evokes the coming to maturity of one of the great characters in contemporary American literature: Scooter, the central protagonist of Albert Murray’s highly acclaimed autobiographical novels Train Whistle Guitar, The Spyglass Tree, and The Seven League Boots.

Growing up brilliant and curious in Alabama, Scooter was told he... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Magic Keys

Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: December 18, 2007
Price: $9.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Seven League Boots

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: February 4, 1997
Price: $16.95

In the triumphant concluding volume of the trilogy that began with Whistle Guitar and The Spyglass Tree, Albert Murray gives us what is at once an African American coming-of-age novel and a pitch-perfect evocation of a touring jazz band at the height of the Swing era. Murray's hero, Scooter, graduates from... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Seven League Boots

Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 19, 2012
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

South to a Very Old Place

Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 19, 2012
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
South to a Very Old Place

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 3, 1991
Price: $15.00

The highly acclaimed novelist and biographer Albert Murray tells his classic memoir of growing up in Alabama during the 1920s and 1930s in South to a Very Old Place. Intermingling remembrances of youth with engaging conversation, African-American folklore, and astute cultural criticism, it is at once an intimate personal journey and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Spyglass Tree

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 27, 1992
Price: $15.00

By “our premier writer about jazz and the blues...and a fictional tale spinner in the grand Southern tradition” (Washington Post Book World), The Spyglass Tree is a deeply affecting novel of elegant, lyrical reminiscence and profound sophistication about a young black man’s advent into the world of academia—an imaginary Alabama college—in... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Spyglass Tree

Written by Albert Murray


Format: eBook, 220 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 19, 2012
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.
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