Zora Neale Hurston

Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Zora Neale Hurston: Langston Hughes

Hurston, Zora Neale

Hurston, Zora Neale, 1891?–60, African-American writer, b. Notasulga, Ala. She grew up in the pleasant all-black town of Eatonville, Fla., and graduated from Barnard College, where she studied with Franz Boas. Her placid childhood and privileged academic background are often cited as major reasons for her work's general lack of stress on racism. An anthropologist and folklorist, Hurston collected African-American folktales in the rural South and sympathetically interpreted them in the collections Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938). A third volume, Every Tongue Got to Confess (2001), was discovered in manuscript and published posthumously. The stories in Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick (2020) concern the everyday lives of black people. Hurston, a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance, was also the author of four novels including Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) and the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Her plays include the comedy Mule Bone (1931), written in collaboration with her friend Langston Hughes.


See her autobiography (1942); C. Kaplan, ed., Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (2002); biographies by R. E. Hemenway (1977) V. Boyd (2002), and V. L. Moylan (2011); studies by H. Bloom, ed. (1986), S. Glassman and K. L. Seidel (1991), J. Carter-Sigglow (1994), J. Lowe (1994), D. G. Plant (1995), L. M. Hill (1996), C. A . Wall, ed., (1997 and 2000), G. L. Cronin (1998), A. I. Karanja (1999), S. E. Meisenhelder (1999), and D. Miles (2002).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Hurston, Zora Neale

(1903–60) writer, anthropologist, folklorist; born in Eatonville, Fla. She studied at Howard University (1923–24), Barnard College (B.A. 1928), and did graduate work at Columbia University. She spent much of her life collecting folklore of the South (1927–31; 1938–39) and of other places such as Haiti (1937–38), Bermuda (1937–38), and Honduras (1946–48); she published her findings in such works as Mules and Men (1935). She lived in New York City and held a variety of jobs, such as teacher, librarian, and assistant to Fannie Hurst. She was associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and would later influence such writers as Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison. She is best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), a novel celebrating the lives of African-Americans. In 1950 she moved to Florida and became increasingly conservative and alienated from her fellow African-Americans, taking a stand even against school integration. She died in poverty and was all but forgotten, but by the 1970s her works were being rediscovered and recognized for their insights.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurston." In New Essays on " Their Eyes Were Watching God," edited by Michael Awkward, 71-94.
That summer, while Julia Peterkin awaited the publication of Scarlet Sister Mary, Zora Neale Hurston was making her way back to African Town armed with a movie camera.
Credited with being the first feminist novel in the Afro-American tradition, Their Eyes Were Watching God has given birth to the most influential women in black literature: Janie Crawford and Zora Neale Hurston. It's not just the writings of Hurston that are significant; it is the many women she has influenced, has shown the way to give voice to heroic and joyful female characters using black vernacular, culture and traditions.
Brother to Brother navigates these waters by focusing on Nugent, Thurman, Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston in 1926 as they brainstorm together on Fire!!--the literary, magazine that they hoped would make their names.
In light of this history, perhaps it's no surprise that Glenn Ligon, whose work has been rooted in investigations of identity for over a decade, turned his attention to the talking cure for his most recent exhibition, whose title was "Going There." But given the artist's near-total compulsion to speak using the voice of others (he's previously appropriated American slave narratives, the words of James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, and newspaper photos of the Million Man March), this decision carries significant weight.
Marched out of anonymity and into the canon by brigades of feminist; womanist; and multiculturalist culture warriors, Zora Neale Hurston is now Zora-Icon.
Other than that, the quaint, little town, nestled between an expressway and the city of Maitland, is a town no one might have even noticed except for the efforts of two women: Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist and writer, and Dr.
Zora Neale Hurston's work is lively, lyrical, funny, and poignant, but this consummate literary craftsperson was also a first-rate ethnographer, conducting field work for Franz Boas and for the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Finally, the book uses William Faulkner's Sanctuary and Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God to explore critiques of Southern society's attempts to "control the labor and leisure of Southern women in the 1920s and 1930s," (307).
The spirit of innovation characterizes the work of Zora Neale Hurston, in both film and in the literary arts.
(150), Valerie Traub asks in her essay on Gloria Naylor and Zora Neale Hurston, and although her answer is "no," the fear that the correct answer is "yes" is implicit in these pages.
Southern porches have been celebrated in song ("Swingin'" and "My Tennessee Mountain Home," to name just two country music examples) and story (Zora Neale Hurston: "It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road.