Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), the most prominent of the Harlem Renaissance women writers, was unique because her social and professional connections were not limited to literature but encompassed theatre, dance, film, anthropology, folklore, music, politics, high society, academia, and artistic bohemia. Hurston published four novels, three books of nonfiction, and dozens of short stories, plays, and essays. In addition, she won a long list of fellowships and prizes, including a Guggenheim and a Rosenwald. Yet ...
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), the most prominent of the Harlem Renaissance women writers, was unique because her social and professional connections were not limited to literature but encompassed theatre, dance, film, anthropology, folklore, music, politics, high society, academia, and artistic bohemia. Hurston published four novels, three books of nonfiction, and dozens of short stories, plays, and essays. In addition, she won a long list of fellowships and prizes, including a Guggenheim and a Rosenwald. Yet by the 1950s, Hurston, like most of her Harlem Renaissance peers, had faded into oblivion. An essay by Alice Walker in the 1970s, however, spurred the revival of Hurston’s literary reputation, and her works, including her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, have enjoyed an enduring popularity.
Zora Neale Hurston: An Annotated Bibliography of Works and Criticism consists of reviews of critical interpretations of Hurston’s work. In addition to publication information, each selection is carefully crafted to capture the author’s thesis in a short, pithy, analytical framework.
Also included are original essays by eminent Hurston scholars that contextualize the bibliographic entries. Meticulously researched but accessible, these essays focus on gaps in Hurston criticism and outline new directions for Hurston scholarship in the twenty-first century.
Comprehensive and up-to-date, this volume contains analytical summaries of the most important critical writings on Zora Neale Hurston from the 1970s to the present. In addition, entries from difficult-to-locate sources, such as small academic presses or international journals, can be found here. Although intended as a bibliographic resource for graduate and undergraduate students, this volume is also aimed toward general readers interested in women’s literature, African American literature, American history, and popular culture. The book will also appeal to scholars and teachers studying twentieth-century American literature, as well as those specializing in anthropology, modernism, and African American studies, with a special focus on the women of the Harlem Renaissance.
In addition to its extensive annotated bibliography, the volume contains three excellent original essays indicating new directions in the assessment of Hurston's works. Although she had received a number of awards, her work fell into oblivion during the 1950s when her use of folklore and depictions of rural blacks living rich, fulfilling lives in segregated communities in the South became antithetical to the urban Northern Harlem Renaissance movement. Now in the twenty-first century, thanks partly to the feminist movement and new African studies programs, the complexities, sophistication, and artistry of her writings are once more being appreciated. The bibliography section is divided into two parts, further subdivided into Books and Articles and Chapters, for many works listed include other writers. All books are identified by consecutive numbers with the first number showing the genre and the second number the alphabetically by author listed work. Part 1 separates by genre: biographies, general criticism, 40 pages devoted to her most popular novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, and her other novels and short stories. Part 2 reveals the breadth of her interests, influence, and writings under the headings Plays, Films, Dance, Folktales, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Letters, Journalism, and Essays. The volume concludes with three appendices. Appendix A lists doctoral dissertations written between 1975 and 2012 in which Hurston is often part of a larger topic or group. Appendix B names her books written for children and young adults, and appendix C divides all her primary works by genre including sound recordings and unpublished writings. The index identifies only the authors of works cited by their individual numbers. Beyond its practical use to discover as much as possible about Zora Neale Thurston, the book is also valuable to any reader interested in understanding how cultural attitudes have expanded in the past few decades.