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The life and death of zora neale hurston

Zora's mother died when she was nine years old, and her father soon remarried. After her relationship with her stepmother rapidly declined, her father sent her to school in Jacksonville, Florida. Hurston greatly missed her mother and the warm, loving family atmosphere that she had grown up in.

Hurston found herself being passed from relative to relative, while working as a nanny and a housekeeper. When Zora was in her early teens she became a wardrobe girl in a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company a theatre company touring the South. Eighteen months later, with the help of a former employer, she enrolled in Morgan Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1917.

She graduated a year later and went to Howard University, where she completed a year and a half of course work between 1919 and 1924.

  1. Like snowflakes, they get the same look from being so plentiful and falling so close together.
  2. On the other hand, during her earlier writing period, Zora Hurston was extremely adept at finding people to give her money to further her career, a talent which sparked the accusation that she pumped whites for money, compromising her own dignity in the process" 1979. Hurston devoted the next four years to her ethnographic studies, traveling to Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and the Bahamas to collect folktales, songs, games, prayers and sermons, which she published in Mules and Men 1935.
  3. Although Hurston worked all of her life at many jobs and was an extremely productive writer, money was always a serious problem. At first, her remains were placed in an unmarked grave.
  4. Hurston wrote three other novels. Accuses me of being faithless and inconsistent if I don't.
  5. Then my ex-sharer of a mood calls up in a fevered voice and reminds me of every silly thing I said, and eggs me on to say them all over again. Her last book, Seraph on the Suwanee, a novel, appeared in 1948.

She secured a scholarship which allowed her to transfer to Barnard College, where she earned her degree in 1928. From 1928 to 1932 she studied anthropology the study of human culture and folklore at Columbia University under Franz Boas, a well-known anthropologist.

  • Library of America, 1995;
  • Langston Hughes, an important black author of the period was supported early on by the same white woman as Hurston but still offered harsh criticism toward her, regarding her career;
  • Hurston died of heart disease on January 28, 1960.

In 1936 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for travelling and collecting folklore in Haiti and the British West Indies. Early career Hurston had a variety of jobs in addition to the writing recognition that brought her fame.

Hurston began her writing career while at Howard when she wrote her first short story for Stylus, a college literary magazine. She continued to write stories, and in 1925 won first prize in the Opportunity literary contest for "Spunk. In 1943 she received the Annisfield Award for the autobiographical Dust Tracks on the Road, a book about her life, which she wrote.

Zora Neale Hurston

Also in 1943 she was given an alumni award from Howard University. Hurston's writings Hurston's most famous work is her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God 1937in which she created the portrait of an African American female, Janie, growing into adulthood searching for her identity.

Through a series of marriages Janie comes to know and define herself in terms of her relationship with whites. For several years after the novel's publication critics saw this work as a sentimental love story. However, if the novel is read with the understanding that love was the traditional way in which a woman was supposed to find self-fulfillment completing oneselfthen love can be seen as the vehicle for emotional, spiritual, and intellectual development.

The novel also portrays the awakening of a woman's sexuality. With the women's movement of the 1970s and the growth of female awareness that followed, many critics cited this novel as the central text in the canon list of the best of literature by African American women writers, specifically, and by women writers in general.

Zora Neale Hurston Biography

Hurston was also a famous folklorist who applied her academic training to collecting African American folklore around her home-town in Florida. All of her work is characterized by her use of African American folk idioms regional speechwhich are important to her character portrayals. Hurston wrote three other novels: Jonah's Gourd Vine 1934an autobiographical novel about her father's rise from an illiterate unable to read or write laborer to a respected Baptist minister; Moses, Man of the Mountain 1939which recreated Mosaic biblical myth in an African context; and Seraph on the Suwanee 1948which is about a woman's search for selfhood within the confines of marriage to a man who sees all women as inferior.

Although Hurston worked all of her life at many jobs and was an extremely productive writer, money was always a serious problem.

In the late 1940s she returned to Florida and worked as a maid in Riva Alto. After several efforts to restart her writing career, she died in poverty in Fort Pierce, Florida, on January 28, 1960.

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Dust Tracks on the Road. A Life in Letters. Compiled by Carla Kaplan. Zora Neale Hurston, Writer and Storyteller. Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: