Spunk: The Selected Short Stories of Zora Neale Hurston

Overview

Zora Neale Hurston is a literary legend. One of the leading forces of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston was also one of the most widely acclaimed Black authors in America from the mid twenties to the mid forties. She faded into obscurity in the subsequent decades, but literary figures and scholars in the 1970s revived her work and introduced a whole generation to her brilliance. Today she is the most widely taught Black woman writer in the canon of American literature. Born in the all-Black town of Eatonville, ...
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Overview

Zora Neale Hurston is a literary legend. One of the leading forces of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston was also one of the most widely acclaimed Black authors in America from the mid twenties to the mid forties. She faded into obscurity in the subsequent decades, but literary figures and scholars in the 1970s revived her work and introduced a whole generation to her brilliance. Today she is the most widely taught Black woman writer in the canon of American literature. Born in the all-Black town of Eatonville, Florida, of which her father was mayor, Hurston was intensely proud. She became the first Black student at Barnard College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She conducted significant research, interviews, and fieldwork relating to Black cultures of the United States and the Caribbean. In her writings, instead of bemoaning the frustrations of the Black experience, Hurston chose to celebrate the many cultures of her people as well as the richness of their verbal expressions. Although Hurston died poor and forgotten in 1960, the visibility of the feminist movement and the interest of women writers such as Alice Walker - who was responsible for providing a headstone for Hurston's unmarked grave in 1974 - were instrumental in reestablishing Hurston's place in African-American literature. Hurston's life and work are revealed through the reviews and essays contained in Zora Neale Hurston: Critical Perspectives Past and Present. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and K. A. Appiah have chosen reviews of her works from such important publications of her days as The Crisis, New Masses, New Republic, the New York Herald Tribune, The New York Times Book Review, Opportunity, and Saturday Review of Literature. Hurston's first novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), earned comments ranging from "most vital" to "a disappointment," although the reviewers consistently praised her use of dialect and language. This unique collection includes reviews of Mules and Men (1935),
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569247433
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Reviews
Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) 3
Mules and Men (1935) 10
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) 16
Tell My Horse (1938) 24
Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939) 26
Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) 30
Seraph on the Suwanee (1948) 34
Essays
"The Drum with the Man Skin": Jonah's Gourd Vine 39
The Emergent Voice: The Word within Its Texts 67
Zora Neale Hurston: Changing Her Own Words 76
"I Love the Way Janie Crawford Left Her Husbands": Emergent Female Hero 98
Wandering: Hurston's Search for Self and Method 110
Thresholds of Difference: Structures of Address in Zora Neale Hurston 130
Breaking Out of the Conventions of Dialect 141
Their Eyes Were Watching God: Hurston and the Speakerly Text 154
Language, Speech, and Difference in Their Eyes Were Watching God 204
Listening and Living: Reading and Experience in Their Eyes Were Watching God 218
Lines of Descent/Dissenting Lines 230
Autoethnography: The An-Archic Style of Dust Tracks on a Road 241
Seraph on the Suwanee 267
Workings of the Spirit: Conjure and the Space of Black Women's Creativity 280
Essayists 309
Chronology 311
Bibliography 313
Acknowledgments 321
Index 325
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