Born January 7, 1891, in Eatonville, Florida, United States; died January 28, 1960, in Fort Pierce, Florida, United States; daughter of John (a preacher and carpenter) and Lucy (a seamstress; maiden name, Potts) Hurston; married Herbert Sheen, May 19, 1927 (divorced, 1931); married Albert Price III, June 27, 1939 (divorced). She attended Howard University, 1923-24; Barnard College, B.A., 1928; graduate study at Columbia University.
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Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (January 8, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
Hurston's novel Jonah's Gourd Vine was derived from the short story "The Gilded Six-Bits" which was published in Story magazine in 1933.
Jonah's Gourd Vine, Zora Neale Hurston's first novel, originally published in 1934, tells the story of John Buddy Pearson, "a living exultation" of a young man who loves too many women for his own good. Lucy, his long-suffering wife, is his true love, but there's also Mehaley and Big 'Oman, as well as the scheming Hattie, who conjures hoodoo spells to ensure his attentions. Even after becoming the popular pastor of Zion Hope, where his sermons and prayers for cleansing rouse the congregation's fervor, John has to confess that though he is a preacher on Sundays, he is a "natchel man" the rest of the week. And so in this sympathetic portrait of a man and his community, Zora Neale Hurston shows that faith, tolerance, and good intentions cannot resolve the tension between the spiritual and the physical. That she makes this age-old dilemma come so alive is a tribute to her understanding of the vagaries of human nature
Eyes Were Watching God
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Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (October 24, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is a luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern black woman in the 1930s whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to seventy years.
This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates, boldly and brilliantly, African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a black woman, who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.
Originally published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God met significant commercial but divided critical acclaim. Somewhat forgotten after her death, Zora Neale Hurston was rediscovered by a number of black authors in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and reintroduced to a greater readership by Alice Walker in her 1972 essay "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," written for Ms. magazine. Long out of print, the book was reissued after a petition was circulated at the Modern Language Association Convention in 1975, and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel of American fiction.
With a new foreword by the celebrated novelist Edwidge Danticat -- author of Eyes, Breath, Memory; The Farming of Bones; and Krik?Krak! -- this edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God commemorates the singular, inimitable voice in America's literary canon and highlights its unusual publication history.
The African American Audio Experience
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Format: Compact Disc - Abridged, 5 CDs
Pub. Date: January 2003
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
One of the most significant occurrences in America during the 20th century was the rise of African-American writers to the forefront of literature. Documenting their views on American culture and its tragic and glorious history, African-American writers' contributions reflected their struggle for equality and paved the way into a brighter future for their country. This collection includes selections of some of the best of those works, with an original introduction by Nikki Giovanni:
Black Boy by Richard Wright. A classic of American autobiography, this subtly crafted narrative chronicles one man's coming of age in the Jim Crow South. Performed by Brock Peters.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. An emotionally lacerating landmark of American theater, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is presented here with a full cast performance starring Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Excerpts from The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection. A collection of poems from one of the most commanding voices to grace America's political and poetic landscape. Read by the author.
Excerpts from the "Tall Tales" Chapter of Every Tounge Got to Confess by Zora Neale Hurston. Collected in the 1920s, these stories pay tribute to the richness of Black vernacular and reflect -- with wit, wisdom, compassion, and style -- the sorrows and joys of the African-American heritage. Performed by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Excerpts from Langston Hughes Reads. Arare and exceptional recording on one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century.
Three poems by Gwendolyn Brooks. "We Real Cool," "Malcolm X," and "The Sermon on the Warpland." Performed by Ruby Dee.
So You Can Speak Again : The Life of Zora Neale Hurston
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1933-34; collected folklore in Jamaica, Haiti, and Bermuda, 1937-38; collected folklore in Florida for the Works Progress Administration, 1938-39; Paramount Studios, Hollywood, CA, staff writer, 1941; collected folklore in Honduras, 1946-48; worked as a maid in Florida, 1950; freelance writer, 1950-56; Patrick Air Force Base, FL, librarian, 1956-57; writer for Fort Pierce Chronicle and part-time teacher at Lincoln Park Academy, both in Fort Pierce, FL, 1958-59. Librarian at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; professor of drama at North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University), Durham; assistant to writer Fannie Hurst.
Older black writers criticized Hurston for the frequent crudeness and bawdiness of the tales she told. The younger generation criticized her propensity to gloss over the injustices her people were dealt. According to Judith Wilson, Hurston's greatest contribution was "to all black Americans' psychic health. The consistent note in her fieldwork and the bulk of her fiction is one of celebration of a black cultural heritage whose complexity and originality refutes all efforts to enforce either a myth of inferiority or a lie of assimilation." Wilson continued, "Zora Neale Hurston had figured out something that no other black author of her time seems to have known or appreciated so well--that our home-spun vernacular and street-corner cosmology is as valuable as the grammar and philosophy of white, Western culture."
Hurston herself wrote in 1928: "I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it.... No, I do not weep at the world--I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife."
Their Eyes Were Watching God is generally acknowledged to be Hurston's finest work of fiction. Still, it was controversial. Richard Wright found the book to be "counter-revolutionary" in a New Masses article. June Jordan praised the novel for its positiveness. She declared in a Black World review: "Unquestionably, Their Eyes Were Watching God is the prototypical Black novel of affirmation; it is the most successful, convincing, and exemplary novel of Blacklove that we have. Period. But the book gives us more: the story unrolls a fabulous, written- film of Blacklife freed from the constraints of oppression; here we may learn Black possibilities of ourselves if we could ever escape the hateful and alien context that has so deeply disturbed and mutilated our rightly efflorescence-- as people. Consequently, this novel centers itself on Blacklove--even as Native Son rivets itself upon white hatred."
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Foreword by Toni Cade Bambara
Format: Trade Paper
A treasury of black America's folklore collected by the famous storyteller and anthrolopologist who grew up hearing the songs, sermons, and tall tales.
First published in 1948, this long realistic novel of poor white "Florida Crackers" represented a departure for Hurston
Hurston's autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, was reissued in 1985 with many chapters that had been deleted restored. The publication of this book coincided with the rediscovery by many contemporary black writers-especially Alice Walker--of the excellence of Hurston's work. The work is lengthy and tends to ramble; Hurston organized the tome around several visions she had that signified her life as an artist. In the work she delves into her childhood, when the death of her mother sent her to a boarding school where she was ignored by her family. The autobiography also traces Hurston's out-of-fashion views of racial issues, such as her opposition to desegregation and her belief that blacks should not consider themselves victims of racism. At the time of the original release of this book in 1942, she was soundly criticized for these views from leading black authors of the day, including Richard Wright, a fact which perhaps led to her fading popularity. However, with the new material in this book, Hurston is able to explain further many of her ideas.
Excerpted from Information provided by Gale Research.
Read an excerpt from Their Eyes Were Watching God
Chapter 1 http://pages.prodigy.com/zora/ztheir.htm
Initially published in 1937, this novel about a proud, independent black woman has, since its reissue in trade paper in 1978, been the most widely readand highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. With this richly illustrated new edition, the novel is finally accorded the treatment it deserves as a classic.
Read an excerpt Mules and Men chapter 1
and Men, Perennial Library Ed.
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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, Incorporated
Date Published: January 1990
Edition Description: 1st Perennial Library ed Edition Number: 1