Reconstructs the events, relationships, and achievements that marked the life of the black novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, assessing her important works and commitment to the black folk tradition
An encyclopedic guide to the American author's life and works presents a brief biography, synopses of her writings, critical analysis of her characters and themes, and discusses important people, places, and topics in her life.
The rediscovery of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, first published in 1937 but subsequently out-of-print for decades, marks one of the most dramatic chapters in African-American literature and Women's Studies. Its popularity owes much to the lyricism of the prose, the pitch-perfect rendition of black vernacular English, and the memorable characters--most notably, Janie Crawford. Collecting the most widely cited and influential essays published on Hurston's classic novel over the last quarter century, this Casebook presents contesting viewpoints by Hazel Carby, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Barbara Johnson, Carla Kaplan, Daphne Lamothe, Mary Helen Washington, and Sherley Anne Williams. The volume also includes a statement Hurston submitted to a reference book on twentieth-century authors in 1942. As it records the major debates the novel has sparked on issues of language and identity, feminism and racial politics, A Casebook charts new directions for future critics and affirms the classic status of the novel.
Hurston was renowned for her portrayal of assertive women in her fiction, folklore, and drama. This book explores her development as an assertive woman and outspoken writer, emphasizing the impact of the African American oral traditions and vernacular speech patterns of Harlem, Polk County, and her hometown of Eatonville, Florida on the development of her personal and artistic voice. The study traces the development of her assertive women characters, the emphasis upon verbal performance and verbal empowerment, the significance of down home Southern humor, and the importance of an ideology of assertive individualism in Hurston's writings and analyzes changes in Hurston's personal style. Hurston articulated an assertive spirit and voice that had a profound influence on the development of her professional reputation and on the course of African American literature, folklore, and culture of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. This study combines literary criticism and biography in tracing her often controversial career. This wide-ranging book focuses upon links between Hurston's fiction and nonfiction, and includes analysis of her plays, which have often been neglected in studies of her writing.(Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York-Buffalo, 1989; revised with new introduction)
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. 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.