Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston, 1891?–60, African-American writer, b. Notasulga, Ala. She grew up in the pleasant all-black town of Eatonville, Fla. and, moving north, graduated from Barnard College, where she studied with Franz Boas. Her placid childhood and privileged academic background are often cited as major reasons for her work's general lack of stress on racism, a characteristic so unlike such contemporaries as Richard Wright. An anthropologist and folklorist, Hurston collected African-American folktales in the rural South and sympathetically interpreted them in the collections Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938). A third volume of tales, Every Tongue Got to Confess, was discovered in manuscript and published in 2001. Hurston, a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance, was also the author of four novels including Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) and the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Her plays include the comedy Mule Bone (1931), written in collaboration with her friend Langston Hughes.

See her autobiography (1942); C. Kaplan, ed., Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (2002); biographies by R. E. Hemenway (1977) V. Boyd (2002), and V. L. Moylan (2011); studies by H. Bloom, ed. (1986), S. Glassman and K. L. Seidel (1991), J. Carter-Sigglow (1994), J. Lowe (1994), D. G. Plant (1995), L. M. Hill (1996), G. L. Cronin (1998), A. I. Karanja (1999), S. E. Meisenhelder (1999), and D. Miles (2002).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2016, The Columbia University Press.

Zora Neale Hurston: Selected full-text books and articles

Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston By Josie P. Campbell Greenwood Press, 2001
Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Understanding Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents By Neal A. Lester Greenwood Press, 1999
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Zora Neale Hurston and a History of Southern Life By Tiffany Ruby Patterson Temple University Press, 2005
Major Black American Writers through the Harlem Renaissance By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Zora Neale Hurston c. 1891-1960" begins on p. 102
Zora Neale Hurston and the Post-Modern Self in 'Dust Tracks on a Road.' By Walker, Pierre A African American Review, Vol. 32, No. 3, Fall 1998
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Dislocating the Color Line: Identity, Hybridity, and Singularity in African-American Narrative By Samira Kawash Stanford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Community and Contagion: Zora Neale Hurston's Risky Practice"
In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity By Darwin T. Turner Southern Illinois University Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Zora Neale Hurston: The Wandering Ministrel"
Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth-Century Literature By Michael North Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "'Characteristics of Negro Expression': Zora Neale Hurston and the Negro Anthology"
The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism By Henry Louis Gates Jr Oxford University Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Zora Neale Hurston and the Speakerly Text"
Language and Literature in the African American Imagination By Carol Aisha Blackshire-Belay Greenwood Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Reassessing African American Literature through an Afrocentric Paradigm: Zora N. Hurston and James Baldwin"
The Harlem Renaissance: The One and the Many By Mark Helbling Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "'My Soul Was with the Gods and My Body in the Village': Zora Neale Hurston, Franz Boas, Melville Herskovits, and Ruth Benedict"
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