Hurston: Novels and Stories

Hurston: Novels and Stories

by Zora Neale Hurston
     
 

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When she died in poverty and obscurity in 1960, all of Zora Neale Hurston's books were out of print. Today her groundbreaking works, suffused with the culture and traditions of African-Americans and the poetry of black speech, have won her recognition as one of the most significant African-American writers. This volume, with its companion, Novels & Stories brings…  See more details below

Overview

When she died in poverty and obscurity in 1960, all of Zora Neale Hurston's books were out of print. Today her groundbreaking works, suffused with the culture and traditions of African-Americans and the poetry of black speech, have won her recognition as one of the most significant African-American writers. This volume, with its companion, Novels & Stories brings together for the first time all of Hurston's best writings in one authoritative set. "Folklore is the arts of the people," Hurston wrote, "before they find out that there is any such thing as art." A pioneer of African-American ethnography who did graduate study in anthropology with the renowned Franz Boas, Hurston devoted herseif to preserving the black folk heritage. In Mules and Men (1935), the first book of African-American folklore written by an African-American, she returned to her native Florida and to New Orleans to record stories and sermons, blues and work songs, children's games, courtship rituals, and formulas of hoodoo doctors. This classic work is presented here with the original illustrations by the great Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias. Tell My Horse (1938), part ethnography, part travel book, vividly recounts the survival of African religion in Jamaican obeah and Haitian voodoo in the 1930s. Keenly alert to political and intellectual currents, Hurston went beyond superficial exoticism to explore the role of these religious systems in their societies. The text is illustrated by 26 photographs, many of them taken by Huston. Her extensive transcriptions of Creole songs here accompanied by new translation. A special feature of this volume is Hurston's controversial 1942 autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. With consultation by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., it is presented here for the first time as she intended, restoring passages omitted by the original publisher because of political controversy, sexual candor, or fear of libel. Included in an appendix are four additional chapters, one never

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
No Black History Month celebration would be complete without Hurston, and here the venerable Library of America collects a wide range of her work. This two-volume set combines four novels with a selection of short stories; her autobiography presented in unexpurgated form for the first time; and her lesser-known anthropological writings, all of which have been restored by scholar and editor Wall. The Hurston collection is essential for all libraries.
Brad Hooper
Library of America's companion to Hurston's "Novels and Stories" presents her nonfiction work, which is perhaps less familiar but no less important than her fiction in the body of black literature. This is the first time the unexpurgated version of her 1942 autobiography, "Dust Tracks on the Road", is being published; sections deemed too provocative (dealing with politics, race, and sex) have been restored. "Mules and Men" (1935) is a collection of African American folklore she gleaned on travels in the South, while "Tell My Horse" (1938) tenders her personal findings on African-based religion in Jamaica and Haiti. Additionally, 22 magazine and book articles with anthropological themes (Hurston did graduate work in that field) that have never been gathered into book form are corralled here. As readers only familiar with her fiction will discover, she couches her nonfiction in the same visceral yet poetic style--for instance, this quote from "Dust Tracks": "It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it." It will never be easier to acquire a complete set of Hurston's nonfiction than now.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780940450837
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
02/28/1995
Series:
Library of America Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
1054
Sales rank:
418,123
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.16(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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