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Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston; Cheryl A. Wall (Editor)Now frequently anthologized, Zora Neale Hurston's short story "Sweat" was first published in Firell, a legendary literary magazine of the Harlem Renaissance, whose sole issue appeared in November 1926. Among contributions by Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Wallace Thurman, "Sweat" stood out both for its artistic accomplishment and its exploration of rural Southern black life. In "Sweat" Hurston claimed the voice that animates her mature fiction, notably the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God; the themes of marital conflict and the development of spiritual consciousness were introduced as well. "Sweat" exemplifies Hurston's lifelong concern with women's relation to language and the literary possibilities of black vernacular. This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author's life, the authoritative text of "Sweat," and a second story, "The Gilded Six-Bits." Published in 1932, this second story was written after Hurston had spent years conducting fieldwork in the Southern United States. The volume also includes Hurston's groundbreaking 1934 essay, "Characteristics of Negro Expression," and excerpts from her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. An article by folklorist Roger Abrahams provides additional cultural contexts for the story, as do selected blues and spirituals. Critical commentary comes from Alice Walker, who led the recovery of Hurston's work in the 1970s, Robert Hemenway, Henry Louis Gates, Gayl Jones, John Lowe, Kathryn Seidel, and Mary Helen Washington.
Publication Date: 1997-03-01
Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston by Gloria L. CroninThe full range of literary traditions comes to life in the Twayne Critical Essays Series. Volume editors have carefully selected critical essays that represent the full spectrum of controversies, trends and methodologies relating to each author's work. Essays include writings from the author's native country and abroad, with interpretations from the time they were writing, through the present day.Each volume includes: -- An introduction providing the reader with a lucid overview of criticism from its beginnings -- illuminating controversies, evaluating approaches and sorting out the schools of thought-- The most influential reviews and the best reprinted scholarly essays-- A section devoted exclusively to reviews and reactions by the subject's contemporaries-- Original essays, new translations and revisions commissioned especially for the series-- Previously unpublished materials such as interviews, lost letters and manuscript fragments-- A bibliography of the subject's writings and interviews-- A name and subject index
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
Every Tongue Got to Confess by Zora Neale Hurston; Carla Kaplan (Editor); John Edgar Wideman (Foreword by)"Imagine the situations in which these speech acts occur. Recall a front stoop, juke joint, funeral, wedding, barbershop, kitchen: the music, noise, communal energy, and release. Dream. Participate the way you do when you allow a song to transport you, all kinds of songs, from hip-hop rap to Bach to Monk, each bearing its different history of sounds and silences." -- From the Foreword by John Edgar Wideman African-American folklore was Zora Neale Hurston's first love. Collected in the late 1920s, Every Tongue Got to Confess is the third volume of folk-tales from the celebrated author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. It is published here for the first time. These hilarious, bittersweet, often saucy folk-tales -- some of which date back to the Civil War -- provide a fascinating, verdant slice of African-American life in the rural South at the turn of the twentieth century. Arranged according to subject -- from God Tales, Preacher Tales, and Devil Tales to Heaven Tales, White-Folk Tales, and Mistaken Identity Tales -- they reveal attitudes about slavery, faith, race relations, family, and romance that have been passed on for generations. They capture the heart and soul of the vital, independent, and creative community that so inspired Zora Neale Hurston. In the foreword, author John Edgar Wideman discusses the impact of Hurston's pioneering effort to preserve the African-American oral tradition and shows readers how to read these folk tales in the historical and literary context that has -- and has not -- changed over the years. And in the introduction, Hurston scholar Carla Kaplan explains how these folk-tales were collected, lost, and found, and examines their profound significance today. In Every Tongue Got to Confess, Zora Neale Hurston records, with uncanny precision, the voices of ordinary people and pays tribute to the richness of Black vernacular -- its crisp self-awareness, singular wit, and improvisational wordplay. These folk-tales reflect the joys and sorrows of the African-American experience, celebrate the redemptive power of storytelling, and showcase the continuous presence in America of an Africanized language that flourishes to this day.
Publication Date: 2001-11-27
Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston by Josie P. CampbellZora Neale Hurston is considered one of the most controversial yet prominent figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance. This introductory study examines Hurston's contributions to that literary movement, as well as her role as mediator between the black and white worlds in which she lived. Readers will appeciate the clear presentation of the biographical facts of her life, as well as an overview of the issues and varying perceptions surrounding her literary achievements. A full chapter is devoted to analysing each of Hurston's major works of fiction: Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948) as well as her short fiction and her fictionalized autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). For each of the works, plot, character development, themes, setting and symbols are identified and discussed in clear accessible language. An alternate critical perspective enhances the understanding of each of Hurston's full length works. Contemporary reviews are cited in a bibliography which also helps students find further biographical and critical information on Zora Neale Hurston.
Publication Date: 2001-07-30
Wrapped in Rainbows by Valerie BoydA woman of enormous talent, remarkable drive, and rare intellectual prowess, Zora Neale Hurston published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, many short stories, and several articles and plays over a career that spanned more than thirty years. Although she enjoyed some popularity during her lifetime, her greatest acclaim has come posthumously. All of her books were out of print when she died in poverty in 1960, but today nearly every black woman writer of significance -- including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker -- acknowledges Hurston as a literary foremother. And her masterpiece,Their Eyes Were Watching God,has become a crucial part of the American literary canon. Yet, despite the recent renewed interest in Hurston's work, she remains, as a friend and contemporary described her, "a woman half in shadow."Wrapped in Rainbows-- the first biography of Zora Neale Hurston in twenty-five years -- illuminates the complexities of an extraordinary life. Born in Alabama in 1891, Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida, when she was still a toddler. In this close-knit community -- the first incorporated all-black town in America -- she spent a pleasant childhood, happily imbibing the rich language and folk culture of the rural black South. When Hurston was still a girl, her mother died, and her father's swift remarriage led to the family's dispersal. Hurston spent the next decade wandering in search of parental figures, working menial jobs, and charting her own course into adulthood. Reinventing herself at the age of twenty-six, she entered high school in Baltimore by claiming to be ten years younger -- a fiction she would maintain throughout her life. Hurston went on to attend Howard University and Barnard College, and during this time launched her writing career in the midst of the blossoming Harlem Renaissance. In New York, she developed relationships with luminaries such as Langston Hughes, Ethel Waters, Fannie Hurst, and Carl Van Vechten. Hurston periodically left New York to travel the country (and the world) collecting black music, poetry, and literature -- becoming one of the most important folklore collectors of her time, as well as one of the most enduring writers of her century.Wrapped in Rainbowspresents a full picture of Hurston as both a writer and a woman, shedding new light on her public and private lives. Drawing on meticulous research and a wealth of crucial information that has emerged over the past twenty years, Valerie Boyd delves into Hurston's thirst for the limelight, her sexuality and short-lived marriages, her mysterious relationship with Vodou, and her occasionally controversial political views. With the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, and World War II as historical backdrops,Wrapped in Rainbowsnot only positions Hurston's work in her time but offers implications for our own.Featuring more than thirty-five black-and-white photographs -- including some that have never been published --Wrapped in Rainbowsis an eloquent profile of one of the most intriguing cultural figures of the twentieth century.
Zora Neale Hurston by Carla Kaplan; Robert Hemingway (Foreword by)A landmark collection of more than five hundred letters written by a woman at the heart of the Harlem Renaissanc--an author who remains one of the most intriguing people in American cultural history. Alice Walker's 1975 Ms.Magazine article "Looking for Zora" reintroduced Zora Neale Hurston to the American literary landscape, and ushered in a virtual renaissance for a writer who was a bestselling author at her peak in the 1930s, but died penniless and in obscurity some three decades later. Since that rediscovery of novelist, anthropologist, playwright, folklorist, essayist, and poet Zora Neale Hurston, her books--from the classic love story Their Eyes Were Watching God to her controversial autobiography, Dust Tracks on the Road--have sold millions of copies. Hurston is now taught in American, African American, and women's studies courses in high schools and universities from coast to coast. Now, in Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, the fascinating life of one of the most enigmatic literary figures of the twentieth century comes alive. Through letters to Harlem Renaissance friends Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Dorothy West, and Carl Van Vechten, and to bestselling author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Fannie Hurst, among others, readers experience the exuberance and trials of Hurston's life. Her letters to her patron, Mrs. Charlotte "Godmother" Osgood Mason, are laced with equal amounts of cynicism and reverence, and offer a fascinating glimpse of the perilously thin line Hurston tread to maintain vital monetary support as she pursued her art and avant-garde lifestyle (which included crossing the country collecting folklore, and a job as story editor at Paramount Pictures in the 1940s). Meticulously edited and annotated, this landmark collection of letters will provide her fans, as well as those discovering Hurston for the first time, with a penetrating and profound portrait into the life, writings (four novels, a play, an autobiography, and countless essays), and impressive imagination of one of the most amazing characters to grace American letters.
Call Number: 813.52 H96zoY
Publication Date: 2002-10-08
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The Complete Stories by Zora Neale Hurston; Henry Louis Gates (Introduction by); Sieglinde Lemke (Introduction by)This landmark gathering of Zora Neale Hurston's short fiction--most of which appeared only in literary magazines during her lifetime--reveals the evolution of one of the most important African American writers. Spanning her career from 1921 to 1955, these stories attest to Hurston's tremendous range and establish themes that recur in her longer fiction. With rich language and imagery, the stories in this collection not only map Hurston's development and concerns as a writer but also provide an invaluable reflection of the mind and imagination of the author of the acclaimed novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale HurstonI have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands. First published in 1942 at the crest of her popularity, this is Zora Neale Hurston's unrestrained account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to prominence among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Full of wit and wisdom, and audaciously spirited, Dust Tracks on a Road offers a rare, poignant glimpse of the life -- public and private -- of a premier African-American writer, artist, anthropologist and champion of the black heritage.
Publication Date: 1996-06-19
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Susan E. MeisenhelderZora Neale Hurston is a controversial figure, equally praised and criticized for her representation of African-Americans; while some critics emphasize her ebullience and celebration of Black culture, others call her fiction stereotypical and essentialist. Observing the workings of the recurrent humor in her works helps explode this critical binary opposition. Specifically, the carnivalesque and the heteroglossia often subvert essentialist notions of (Black) identity. Jonah's Gourd Vine's protagonist, the preacher-womanizer John Pearson, can be seen as an African rather than an African-American trickster figure, i.e. as a mobile character whose liminality helps him fight essentialist definitions imposed on him by both the white establishment and his own community. Janie's romantic search for self-fulfillment in Their Eyes Were Watching God is undermined by the humor and the carnival, which emphasize her shifting and multiply defined identity. Finally, the African-Americanized story of Moses and the Hebrews shows the conflicts involved in their search for a unified national and cultural identity. In these three novels, Hurston appears as a subversive presence whose manipulation of humor underscores a complex political vision.
Publication Date: 1999-06-29
Rereading the Harlem Renaissance by Sharon L. JonesAfrican American writers of the Harlem Renaissance generally fall into three aesthetic categories: the folk, which emphasizes oral traditions, African American English, rural settings, and characters from lower socioeconomic levels; the bourgeois, which privileges characters from middle class backgrounds; and the proletarian, which favors overt critiques of oppression by contending that art should be an instrument of propaganda. Depending on critical assumptions regarding what constitutes authentic African American literature, some writers have been valorized, others dismissed. This rereading of the Harlem Renaissance gives special attention to Fauset, Hurston, and West. Jones argues that all three aesthetics influence each of their works, that they have been historically mislabeled, and that they share a drive to challenge racial, class, and gender oppression. The introduction provides a detailed historical overview of the Harlem Renaissance and the prevailing aesthetics of the period. Individual chapters analyze the works of Hurston, West, and Fauset to demonstrate how the folk, bourgeois, and proletarian aesthetics figure into their writings. The volume concludes by discussing the writers in relation to contemporary African American women authors.
Publication Date: 2002-12-30
Zora Neale Hurston by Deborah G. PlantThis new biography takes into account the whole woman--not just the prolific author of such great works as Their Eyes Were Watching God, Moses, Man of the Mountain, Jonah's Gourd Vine, Mules and Men, as well as essays, folklore, short stories, and poetry--but the philosopher and the spiritual soul, examining how each is reflected in her career, fiction and nonfiction publications, social and political activity, and, ultimately, her death. When we ask what animated the woman who achieved all that she did, we must necessarily probe further. Not one of the other existing biographies discusses or analyzes Hurston's spirituality in any sustained sense, even though this spirituality played a significant role in her life and works. As author Deborah G. Plant shows, Zora Neale Hurston's ability to achieve and to endure all she did came from the courage of her convictions--a belief in self that was profoundly centered and anchored in spirituality.