Zora Neale Hurston, great writer of the american south, born in Alabama on January 7th, 1891 "Their Eyes were watching God" is a fantastic book - I am sure all her other books are wonderful as well.
I got this one book from a friend, also born in Alabama, and I loved it. It showed me a world, utterly strange and unknown for a young and pretty immature woman from Germany.
I am sure all her other books are wonderful as well and with this short post I want to encourage you all to go out and get one and read it. It is worth it!!!
And this is what Garison Keilors Writer's Almanac wrote about her today:
"It's the birthday of novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, born in Notasulga, Alabama (1891). She grew up in Eatonville, Florida, America's first incorporated all-black town. Much of Hurston's writing is set there, and many of her characters are based on the residents. Although she loved her hometown, she felt set apart from others. "Often I was in some lonesome wilderness, suffering strange things and agonies while other children in the same yard played without a care," she said. "A cosmic loneliness was my shadow. Nothing and nobody around me really touched me." When she was 14, Hurston's mother died, and she was passed around from relative to relative. She took a job as a wardrobe girl for a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory touring company. She traveled with them for 18 months, reading constantly. She eventually finished high school in Baltimore while working full time as a live-in maid.
In 1920, she enrolled in Howard University. Her first story, Spunk, was published in Opportunity magazine five years later, when it won second prize in a fiction contest. At the awards dinner, Hurston met author Fanny Hurst, who hired Hurston as her assistant and arranged for her to receive a scholarship to Barnard College. While in New York, Hurston published the "Eatonville Anthology," a series of 14 brief sketches, some only two paragraphs long, including glimpses of a woman beggar, an incorrigible dog, a backward farmer, the greatest liar in the village, and a cheating husband.
On returning to New York, Hurston became part of the Harlem Renaissance. And it was there, in just seven weeks, that she wrote her masterpiece Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937.) It's the story of a black woman in rural Florida named Janie Crawford and her three marriages: the first to the farmer Logan Killicks, who treats her like a slave, the second to the politician Jody Starks, who treats her like a queen, and finally to the penniless Tea Cake Woods, with whom she finally finds true love.
Although for a time Hurston was the most prolific and most famous black woman writer in America, interest in her work faded away in the 1950s, and so did her money. She worked at odd jobs for the next 10 years, writing a few magazine articles every now and again. She wrote three novels that were rejected for publication. Her death in 1960 in a welfare home went largely unnoticed and she was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1973, novelist Alice Walker visited the cemetery and placed a marker in the field where Hurston lay, which reads, "Zora Neale Hurston, A Genius of the South." She wrote an article about the event called "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston" (1975), which sparked renewed interest in Hurston's writing.
Zora Neale Hurston said: "Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it."