13 Zora Neale Hurston Books

Zora Neale Hurston standing with her hands in the air

Zora Neale Hurston Books: Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South and published research on hoodoo. The most popular of her four novels is Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. We hopes that you enjoy a list of the best Zora Neale Hurston Books.

Zora Neale Hurston Books

Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel Mar 17, 2009 by Zora Neale Hurston

Lorem i.One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" May 8, 2018 by Zora Neale Hurston ,

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance Jan 14, 2020 by Zora Neale Hurston

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions.

Mules and Men (P.S.) Oct 13, 2009 by Zora Neale Hurston

Mules and Men is a treasury of black America’s folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery. Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls “a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling.” Set intimately within the social context of black life, the stories, “big old lies,” songs, Vodou customs, and superstitions recorded in these pages capture the imagination and bring back to life the humor and wisdom that is the unique heritage of African Americans.

Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography (P.S.) Jun 30, 2010 by Zora Neale Hurston , Maya Angelou

First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston’s candid, funny, bold, and poignant autobiography—an imaginative and exuberant account of her childhood in the rural South and her rise to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.

As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston’s very personal literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life—public and private—of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler, and champion of the Black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed high, Dust Tracks on a Road is a rare treasure from one of literature’s most cherished voices.

Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica Oct 13, 2009 by Zora Neale Hurston

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, where she participated as an initiate rather than just an observer of voodoo practices during her visits in the 1930s, this travelogue into a dark world paints a vividly authentic picture of ceremonies and customs and superstitions of great cultural interest.

Moses, Man of the Mountain Apr 29, 2010 by Zora Neale Hurston

In this 1939 novel 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. Narrated in a mixture of biblical rhetoric, black dialect, and colloquial English, Hurston traces Moses’s life from the day he is launched into the Nile river in a reed basket, to his development as a great magician, to his transformation into the heroic rebel leader, the Great Emancipator. From his dramatic confrontations with Pharaoh to his fragile negotiations with the wary Hebrews, this very human story is told with great humor, passion, and psychological insight—the hallmarks of Hurston as a writer and champion of black culture.

Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-tales from the Gulf States Oct 13, 2009 by Zora Neale Hurston

A recently discovered collection of folktales celebrating African American oral tradition, community, and faith…”splendidly vivid and true.”—New York Times

 

Every Tongue Got to Confess is an extensive volume of African American folklore that Zora Neale Hurston collected on her travels through the Gulf States in the late 1920s.

The bittersweet and often hilarious taleswhich range from longer narratives about God, the Devil, White Folk, and Mistaken Identity to witty one-linersreveal attitudes about faith, love, family, slavery, race, and community. Together, this collection of nearly 500 folktales weaves a vibrant tapestry that celebrates the African American life in the rural South and represent a major part of Zora Neale Hurstons literary legacy.

The Mule-Bone Dec 17, 2020 by Zora Neale Hurston

This story begins in Eatonville, Florida, on a Saturday afternoon with Jim and Dave fighting for Daisy’s affection. An argument breaks out between two men, and Jim picks up a hock bone from a mule and knocks Dave out. Because of that Jim gets arrested and is held for trial in Joe Clarke’s barn. When the trial begins the townspeople are divided along religious lines: Jim’s Methodist supporters sit on one side of the church, Dave’s Baptist supporters on the other. The issue to be decided at the trial is whether or not Jim has committed a crime.

Jonah's Gourd Vine: A Novel Oct 13, 2009 by Zora Neale Hurston

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. Lucy, his long-suffering wife, is his true love, but there’s also Mehaley and Big ‘Oman, as well as the scheming Hattie, who conjures hoodoo spells to ensure his attentions. Even after becoming the popular pastor of Zion Hope, where his sermons and prayers for cleansing rouse the congregation’s fervor, John has to confess that though he is a preacher on Sundays, he is a “natchel man” the rest of the week. And so in this sympathetic portrait of a man and his community, Zora Neale Hurston shows that faith, tolerance, and good intentions cannot resolve the tension between the spiritual and the physical. That she makes this age-old dilemma come so alive is a tribute to her understanding of the vagaries of human nature.

Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters Dec 18, 2007 by Carla Kaplan

“ I mean to live and die by my own mind,” Zora Neale Hurston told the writer Countee Cullen. Arriving in Harlem in 1925 with little more than a dollar to her name, Hurston rose to become one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance, only to die in obscurity. Not until the 1970s was she rediscovered by Alice Walker and other admirers. Although Hurston has entered the pantheon as one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, the true nature of her personality has proven elusive.

Now, a brilliant, complicated and utterly arresting woman emerges from this landmark book. Carla Kaplan, a noted Hurston scholar, has found hundreds of revealing, previously unpublished letters for this definitive collection; she also provides extensive and illuminating commentary on Hurston’s life and work, as well as an annotated glossary of the organizations and personalities that were important to it.

High John de Conquer Apr 24, 2019 by Zora Neale Hurston

“Maybe, now, we used-to-be black African folks can be of some help to our brothers and sisters who have always been white. You will take another look at us and say that we are still black and, ethnologically speaking, you will be right. But nationally and culturally, we are as white as the next one. We have put our labor and our blood into the common causes for a long time. We have given the rest of the nation song and laughter. Maybe now, in this terrible struggle, we can give something else—the source and soul of our laughter and song. We offer you our hope-bringer, High John de Conquer.”

"Sweat": Written by Zora Neale Hurston (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (MELA)) Mar 1, 1997 by Zora Neale Hurston , Cheryl A. Wall

Now frequently anthologized, Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Sweat” was first published in Firell, a legendary literary magazine of the Harlem Renaissance, whose sole issue appeared in November 1926. Among contributions by Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Wallace Thurman, “Sweat” stood out both for its artistic accomplishment and its exploration of rural Southern black life. In “Sweat” Hurston claimed the voice that animates her mature fiction, notably the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God; the themes of marital conflict and the development of spiritual consciousness were introduced as well. “Sweat” exemplifies Hurston’s lifelong concern with women’s relation to language and the literary possibilities of black vernacular.