Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

BI News Briefs: New Zora Neale Hurston Works Found

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

BI News Briefs: New Zora Neale Hurston Works Found

Article excerpt

BI News Briefs: New Zora Neale Hurston Works Found

Newly discovered works by Zora Neale Hurston are generating excitement among Hurston scholars and will be of paramount importance in the way her works are being taught, scholars say.

"The discovery of these works continues the process of placing Hurston in her rightful position in the canon," said novelist and English professor Marita Golden, founder of the Hurston-Wright Foundation. "I'm just glad that we are continuing to find more evidence of just how prodigiously talented she [Hurston] was."

Between 1925 and 1944 Hurston submitted carbon copies of four sketches and six plays for copyright protection as unpublished dramas. The Library of Congress retained them, but they were only recently found by researchers searching copyright records. The works appear to be unpublished and not widely known.

"The haphazard, accidental way these works were found is a sort of commentary on the way that Hurston had to unfortunately live her life -- often poor and [under conditions that were] not conducive to being as productive as possible. Yet, she managed to be very productive," said Golden. "And the way that they were found also sort of symbolizes how much of African American history and literature has been a stepchild of the canon and so much has been lost. …

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