In Search Of Zora Neale Hurston Essay

Thirty years after her death at age 69 in a Fort Pierce, Fla., nursing home in 1960, Hurston has attained the celebrity status that eluded her in life.

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Her recognition has also been hastened by a renewed interest in American folklore, Nathiri said.“What she did was to take a wealth of information, and to single-handedly preserve the tradition of African-American folk culture in the South,” Nathiri pointed out.

Published originally by Lippincott, Hurston’s work had been subcontracted to other houses since the demise of that house.

In life, Hurston “never had the audience” that she deserved, Bill Shinker said.

“She was an African American and a woman,” Nathiri added--neither quality offering her an instant ticket to success.

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In a literary lifetime that included novels, essays, short stories and plays, Zora Neale Hurston earned less than

In a literary lifetime that included novels, essays, short stories and plays, Zora Neale Hurston earned less than $1,000 in royalties.“But by the quality and quantity of her work, she is probably the major undiscovered writer of the 20th Century,” N. In her hometown of Eatonville, Fla., an annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts honors her.

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.

To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.

Even as a child she struggled to express herself freely.

In her autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942), she recalls her father punishing her for having “too much spirit'; he feared the consequences of a black woman's rebelliousness.

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In a literary lifetime that included novels, essays, short stories and plays, Zora Neale Hurston earned less than $1,000 in royalties.“But by the quality and quantity of her work, she is probably the major undiscovered writer of the 20th Century,” N. In her hometown of Eatonville, Fla., an annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts honors her.This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.Even as a child she struggled to express herself freely.In her autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942), she recalls her father punishing her for having “too much spirit'; he feared the consequences of a black woman's rebelliousness.Four novels published in 1990 began the Harper Collins reissue; one, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” sold more than 170,000 copies its first year.The appeal of Hurston’s work, said Bill Shinker, publisher and executive vice president of Harper Collins, is “One, she is an extraordinary writer. She uses the language of the people, the idiom.” But also, Shinker said, “She is talking about part of the (African-American) experience that is in many ways not that well known.”With the character of Janie Crawford, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Hurston’s best-known novel, “established the archetype of the woman who wants to be recognized as her own person,” said Nathiri, the executive director of the Assn.Hurston's mother, on the other hand, exhorted her to “jump at de sun.” She was determined to raise someone who would become more than a “mealy‐mouthed rag doll;” and succeeded gloriously.Hurston's father, unfortunately, was also successful — at least as a prophet.According to Alice Walker and Mary Helen Washington, Hurston's career epitomizes the difficulty of being a black woman artist in America: “What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmother's time?” Hurston's life provides an answer, and part of it is, as Miss Walker suggests, “cruel enough to stop the blood.”Hurston was born around 1901 (no one knows for sure) in Eatonville, Fla.

,000 in royalties.“But by the quality and quantity of her work, she is probably the major undiscovered writer of the 20th Century,” N. In her hometown of Eatonville, Fla., an annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts honors her.This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.Even as a child she struggled to express herself freely.In her autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942), she recalls her father punishing her for having “too much spirit'; he feared the consequences of a black woman's rebelliousness.Four novels published in 1990 began the Harper Collins reissue; one, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” sold more than 170,000 copies its first year.The appeal of Hurston’s work, said Bill Shinker, publisher and executive vice president of Harper Collins, is “One, she is an extraordinary writer. She uses the language of the people, the idiom.” But also, Shinker said, “She is talking about part of the (African-American) experience that is in many ways not that well known.”With the character of Janie Crawford, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Hurston’s best-known novel, “established the archetype of the woman who wants to be recognized as her own person,” said Nathiri, the executive director of the Assn.Hurston's mother, on the other hand, exhorted her to “jump at de sun.” She was determined to raise someone who would become more than a “mealy‐mouthed rag doll;” and succeeded gloriously.Hurston's father, unfortunately, was also successful — at least as a prophet.According to Alice Walker and Mary Helen Washington, Hurston's career epitomizes the difficulty of being a black woman artist in America: “What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmother's time?” Hurston's life provides an answer, and part of it is, as Miss Walker suggests, “cruel enough to stop the blood.”Hurston was born around 1901 (no one knows for sure) in Eatonville, Fla.

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