Zora Neale Hurston

Presenting: Zora Neale Hurston

Throughout her life, Hurston, dedicated herself to promoting and studying black culture. She traveled to both Haiti and Jamaica to study the religions of the African diaspora. Her findings were also included in several newspapers throughout the United States. Hurston often incorporated her research into her fictional writing. As an author Hurston, started publishing short stories as early as 1920. Unfortunately, her work was ignored by the mainstream literary audience for years. However, she gained a following among African Americans. In 1935, she published Mules and Men. She later, collaborated with Langston Hughes to create the play, Mule Bone. She published three books between 1934 and 1939.  Hurston was not only a writer, she also dedicated her life to educating others about the arts.  Although Hurston eventually received praise for her works, she was often underpaid. Therefore, she remained in debt and poverty.  At first, her remains were placed in an unmarked grave. In 1972, author Alice Walker located her grave and created a marker. Although, Hurston’s work was not widely known during her life, in death she ranks among the best writers of the 20th century. Her work continues to influences writers throughout the world.

Her Notable Works

Dust Tracks On A Road

Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston’s candid, funny, bold, and poignant autobiography, an imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists

Mules & Men

Mules and Men is the first great collection of black America’s folk world. In the 1930’s, Zora Neale Hurston returned to her “native village” of Eatonville, Florida to record the oral histories, sermons and songs, dating back to the time of slavery

Every Tongue Got to Confess

These hilarious, bittersweet, often saucy folk-tales – some of which date back to the Civil War – provide a fascinating, verdant slice of African-American life in the rural South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Mule Bone

A collaboration between Zora and Langston Hughes. Overcome by jealousy, Jim hits Dave with a mule bone and hilarity follows chaos as the town splits into two factions.

Hitting a straight lick with a crooked stick.

This arresting collection from Hurston (Barracoon) includes eight previously unpublished works, mostly set in or featuring characters from her hometown of Eatonville, Fla. Many of the stories draw on folklore and mythology to dramatize conflicts around gender, class, and migration.

Jonah’s Gourd Vine

Jonah’s Gourd Vine, Zora Neale Hurston’s first novel, originally published in 1934, tells the story of John Buddy Pearson, “a living exultation” of a young man who loves too many women for his own good.

Seraph On The Suwanee

This novel of turn-of-the-century white “Florida Crackers” marks a daring departure for the author famous for her complex accounts of black culture and heritage. Full of insights into the nature of love, attraction, faith, and loyalty, Seraph on the Suwanee is the compelling story of two people at once deeply in love and deeply at odds.

Barracon: The Last Slave

This previously unpublished manuscript from Hurston (1891–1960) is a remarkable account of the life of Kossola, also known as Cudjo Lewis, the last survivor of the last American slave ship.Before writing Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston was working as an anthropologist in 1927 when she traveled to Plateau, Ala., to interview 86-year-old Kossola.

Moses Men Of The Mountain

Based on the familiar story of the Exodus, Zora Neale Hurston blends the Moses of the Old Testament with the Moses of black folklore and song to create a compelling allegory of power, redemption, and faith

Tell My Horse

As a first-hand account of the weird mysteries and horrors of voodoo, Tell My Horse is an invaluable resource and fascinating guide. Based on Zora Neale Hurston’s personal experiences in Haiti and Jamaica.

The Hand Shakers Club