Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most prolific African-American female writers of her day. Between 1934 and 1948, Hurston published seven books including her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road. Perhaps her most well received publication was Their Eyes Were Watching God. In addition to her major publications, she also wrote many short stories, plays, biographies, newspaper and magazine articles.
Hurston was born in the all-black town of Eatonville, Florida. Eatonville was the setting for many of her stories of folklore and probably shaped many of her political views.
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In 1918, Hurston graduated from Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland. She then studied at Howard University from 1918 to 1924. Lorenzo Dow Turner, Alaine Locke, and Georgia Douglas Johnson were some of her mentors as she studied and developed her writing skills. Hurston received a scholarship in 1925 to attend Barnard College in New York City where she studied anthropology under Franz Boas. She received the Rosenwald Foundation Fellowship and studied for two years at the Columbia University Graduate School.
The Harlem Renaissance was in full swing when Hurston arrived in New York City. She joined with Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurmond in 1926 to found the avant-garde magazine Fire.
She began her field research in Alabama by interviewing an ex-slave by the name of Cudjo Lewis. The article "Cudjo's Own Story of the Last African Slaves" was published in the Journal of Negro History in 1927. She later wrote an expanded full-length version of this story in 1931 which went unpublished. Hurston did other field research in such places as Florida, Louisiana, Jamaica, Haiti, the British Honduras and even on the streets of Harlem.
At the time of her death, Hurston's star had faded. Her last book had been published in 1948 and because of a lack of financial support, she was unable to continue her field research. She was emotionally devastated when she was arrested on a morals charge in New York. She provided evidence that she was out of the country at the time of the incident and she was eventually cleared of the charges and the case was dropped. The effects of the sensationalized and distorted publicity, especially from the black press, took its toll. She left New York and returned to the South.
She continued to write and was able to sell articles to some of the national magazines, but she never published another book. She suffered a stroke in October 1959 and was forced to enter a welfare home three months later.
It has been said that Hurston was far ahead of her time. She was considered an "outrageous woman" by Langston Hughes. She was misunderstood by some who criticized her works so severely at the time. A sympathetic obituary at the time of her death renewed interest in Hurston's work. Re-evaluation of her accomplishments as a writer and of her many stories of folklore has resulted in a rekindled interest in the life and literature of Zora Neale Hurston.
Source: Dictionary of American Negro Biography
This selective bibliography provides a listing of books, journal articles, essays, and magazine articles by or about Zora Neale Hurston, along with citations to her personal papers and writings. The books selected are available in Founders Library or one of the Branch Libraries. Other materials may be located online via links to websites devoted to Hurston.
Library locations and call numbers are included for books and sound recordings
available at Howard. The selected resources include works by Hurston’s contemporaries as well as critiques or analyses by current scholars.
WORKS BY ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott,1942. Reprinted: Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1970. (Founders; Divinity PS3515 Z789 Z5 1969; Social Work PS3515 Z789 Z465).
Farrison, W. Edward. Journal of Negro History 28 (1943) : 352-355.
Jonah’s Gourd Vine. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1934. Reprinted, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1971. (Divinity PS3515.U789.J65 1971).
Moses Man of the Mountain. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1939. Reprinted, Chatham, NJ: Chatham Bookseller, 1974. (Founders PS3515.U789.M88 1967).
Untermeyer, Louis, “Old Testament Voodoo.” Saturday Review of Literature 21 (November 11, 1939) : 11.
Mules and Men. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1935. Reprinted, New York: Negro University Press, 1969. Reprinted, New York: Harper and Row, 1970. (Founders Pollock GR103.H8 1978).
Seraph on the Suwanee. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948. Reprinted, Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1971. Reprinted 1971, New York: AMS Press, 1974.
Bricknell, Herschel. “A Woman Saved.” Saturday Review of Literature 31 (November 6, 1948): 19.
Their Eyes Were Watching God. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1937. Reprinted New York: Negro University Press, 1969. Urbana: U of Illinois Press, 1978. (Founders PS3515.U789.T54 1978).
Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1938. Reprinted, New York ETC, 1938. Reprinted New York Perennial Library, 1990 (Founders F1886.H87).
C. G. Woodson. Journal of Negro History 24 (1939): 116-118.
ARTICLES, BOOKS, SHORT STORIES, AND OTHER WRITINGS BY ZORA NEALE HURSTON
“John Redding Goes to Sea.” Stylus 1 (May 1921) : 11-22. Reprinted in Opportunity 4 (January 1926): 16-521. (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center MSRC).
“Drenched in Light.” Opportunity 2 (December 1924) : 371-74. (MSRC).
“Spunk.” Opportunity 3 (June 1925) : 171-173. (MSRC) Reprinted in The New Negro. New York : Albert and Charles Boni, 1925, 105-111. (Founders E185.82 L75 1968).
“Mutsy.” Opportunity 4 (August 1926) : 246-250. (MSRC).
“Color Struck: A Play in Four Scenes.” Fire 1 (November 1926) : 7-15. (MSRC).
“Sweat.” Fire 1 (November1926) : 40-45. (MSRC).
“Cudjo’s Own Story of the Last African Slaves.” Journal of Negro History 12 (October 1927) : 648-663.
“Communication.” Journal of Negro History 12 (October 1927) : 664-667.
“Dance Songs and Tales from the Bahamas.” Journal of America Folklore 43 (July-September 1930) : 294-312.
“Hoodoo in America.” Journal of American Folklore 44 (October-December 1931) : 317-418.
“Fannie Hurst.” Saturday Review 9 October 1937: 15-16.
“Star-Wrassling Sons-of-the-Universe.” rev. of The Hurricane’s Children by Carl Carmer. New York Herald Tribune Books 26 December 1937: 4.
“Stories of Conflict.” rev. of Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright. Saturday Review, 2 April 1938 : 32.
“The Last Slave Ship.” American Mercury 58 (March 1944) : 351-358.
“Zora’s Revealing Story of Ruby’s First Day in Court.” Pittsburgh Courier 11 October 1952.
Barracoon. ms. Unpublished biography of Cudjo Lewis. 1931. 117. Alain Lock Papers, MSRC.
The Bone of Contention. Unpublished short story, Undated. 13. Alain Lock Papers, MSRC.
“The Fiery Chariot: A One-Act Play.” The Zora Neale Hurston Forum 1.1 (Fall 1986) : 32-37.
Herold the Great. Unpublished biography. Manuscript in the Hurston Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, U of Florida Library, 269.
“Joe Wiley of Magazine Point.” Unpublished story (folklore) 1928 Alain Locke Papers, MSRC.
“Mule Bone: A Comedy of Life.” Unpublished play in three acts, written with Langston Hughes, 1930. Mimeographed copy in Alain Locke Papers, MSRC.
“Negro Religious Customs: The Sanctified Church.” Unpublished story, (folklore 8). Archive of Folk Song, Library of Congress.
HURSTON'S WORKS PUBLISHED BY OTHERS
"I Love Myself When I am Laughing...and then Again When I am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader. Alice Walker ed. Old Westbury, N.Y.: The Feminist Press, 1979. (Founders; UGL, Reserves PS3515 U789 I65).
Sanctified Church. Berkeley: Turtle Island, 1981. (Founders Pollock Collection BR563.N4H834
Spunk: The Selected Stories of Zora Neale Hurston. Berkeley, C.A.: Turtle Island Foundation,
The Guilded Six-Bits: Love is Fragile. Minneapolis, Minn.: Redpath Press, 1986. (Founders Library PS3515 U789 G54 1986).
The Complete Stories. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Sieglinds Lemke eds. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.
Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings. Cheryl A. Wall ed. New York, N.Y.: Library of America, 1995.
Novels and Stories. New York: Library of America, 1995. (Founders PS3515 U789A62 1995).
Sweat. Cheryl A. Wall ed. (Founders UGL Aux. Coll. PS 3515 U789 S94 1997).
Go Gator and Muddy the Water : Writings from the Federal Writers' Project. Pamela Bordelon ed.
New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. (UGL Aux. Coll. 111.A47 H84 1999).
Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-Tales from the Gulf States. John Edgar Wideman forward and Carla Kaplan ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2001. (UGL Aux. Coll. GR111 A47 H83 2001).
Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters. Carla Kaplan ed. New York: Doubleday, 2002. (Founders Library PS3515 U789Z48 2002).
WRITINGS ABOUT ZORA NEALE HURSTON
“Zora Neale Hurston.” Current Biography. 3.5 (May 1942) : 46. (Founders REF CT100.C8).
Hemenway, Robert E. Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography. Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 1977. (Divinity PS3515.U789.Z7).
Howard, Lillie P. “Zora Neale Hurston: Just Being Herself.” Essence (November 1980): 100+.
Reagon, Bernice Johnson. “Zora Neale Hurston.” Dictionary of American Negro Biography. Eds.
Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1982. 340-341. (Founders REF/E185.96. D53 1982).
Walker, Alice. “In Search Of Zora Neale Hurston.” Ms. 3 March 1975: 74+.
“Zora Neale Hurston, Obituary.” New York Times 5 February 1960, late ed: L27.
Bloom, Harold ed. Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. (Founders PS3515.U789.T639 1987).
Bricknell, Herschel. “A Woman Saved.” rev. of Seraph on the Suwanee, by Zora Neale Hurston. Saturday Review of Literature 31 (November 6, 1948) : 19.
Carr, Glynis. “Storytelling as Bildung in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” College Language Association Journal 31.2 (December 1987) : 189-200.
Croft, Robert W. A Zora Neale Hurston Companion. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
(Founders Ready Ref PS3515 U789 Z464 2002).
Davis, Arthur P. "Zora Neale Hurston." From the Dark Tower: African-American Writers 1900-1960. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1982. 113-120. (Founders REF PS153.N5.D33).
Davis, Rose Parkman. Zora Neale Hurston: An Annotated Bibliography and Reference Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997. (Founders REF PS3515 U789 Z9 1997).
Dawson, Emma J. Waters. "Images of the Afro-American Female Character in Jean Toomer's Cane, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Alice Walker's The Color Purple." DAI 48 (1987): 10A. U of South Florida.
Ferguson, Sally Ann. "Folkloric Men and Female Growth in Their Eyes Were Watching God." Black American Literature Forum. 21 (1987) : 185-197.
French, Warren. "Zora Neale Hurston." American Writers Since 1900. Chicago, St. James Press, 1980. 288-290. (Founders REF PS221.A53).
Howard, Lillie P. Zora Neale Hurston. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980 (Founders Pollock Coll. PS3515.Z789.Z73).
"Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography." by Robert E. Hemenway. Mississippi Quarterly. (Fall 1979): 663-666.
Jordan, June. "On Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston." Black World. (August 1974): 4-8.
Kilson, Marion. "The Transformation of Eatonville's Ethnographer." Phylon 33 (Summer 1972): 112-119.
Long, Richard A. "Zora Neale Hurston's Sweat." Afro-American Writing: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry. College Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1985. 394-402. (Founders REF PS508.N3A37 1985).
Meeks, Catherine. "The Mule of the World: An Exploration of Sexist Oppression with Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker." DAI 48 (1987): 04A. Emory U.
Mikell, Gwendolyn. "When Horses Talk: Reflections on Zora Neale Hurston's Haitian Anthropology." Phylon: The Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture 43.3 (September 1982) : 218-230.
Newson, Adele Sheron. "An Annotated Bibliography of Critical Response to Zora Neale Hurston (Harlem Renaissance)." DAI 49 (1986): 09A. Michigan State U.
______. Zora Neale Hurston: A Reference Guide. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987. (Founders REF PS3515.U789.Z48 1987).
Plant, Deborah G. "Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road: Black Autobiography in a Different Voice." DAI 49 (1988): 12A. U. of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Popkin, Michael (ed.) "Zora Neale Hurston." Modern Black Writers. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1978. (Founders REF PN 841.M58).
Roses, Lorraine Elena. Harlem Renaissance and Beyond Literary Biographies of 100 Black Women Writers 1900-1945. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1990. (Founders REF PS153.N5R65 1990).
Sheffey, Ruthe T. "Zora Neale Hurston's Moses, Man of the Mountain: A Fictionalized Manifesto on the Imperatives of Black Leadership." College Language Association 29.2 (December 1985): 06A. Florida State U.
Turner, Darwin T. "Zora Neale Hurston." In a Minor Chord: Three Afro-American Writers and Their Search for Identity. Carbondale: Southern Illinois U Press, 1971. 109-113.
Walker, Alice ed. I Love Myself When I Am Laughing and Then When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive. New York: The Feminist Press, 1979. (Founders; Social Work PS3515.U789.165 1979).
Walker, S. Jay. "Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: Black Novel of Sexism." Modern Fiction Studies 20 (1974-1975): 519-527.
Whitlow, Roger. "Zora Neale Hurston" Black American Literature: A Critical History. Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1973. 103-106. (Founders REF PS153.N5.W45).
Witherspoon-Walthall, Mattie L. "The Evolution of the Black Heroine in the Novels of Jessie Fausset, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker: A Curriculum." DAI 8 (1987): 07A. St John's U.
Wolfe, George C. The Colored Museum & Spunk: Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston adapted by George C. Wolfe. Garden City, NY: The Fireside Theatre, 1991. (Founders, Pollock Cooper Coll. PS3573 O5213).
Young, James O. "Black Writers and Beyond." Black Writers of the Thirties. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973. 219-223. (Founders REF PS153.N5.Y6 1973a).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
A. Print Sources:
Annual Bibliography of English Literature
Index to Black Periodicals
Literary Criticism Index
Modern Language Association (MLA) Bibliography
Short Story Index 1949-
20th Century Short Story Explication
B. Online Sources
America: History and Life
History Resource Center
International Index to Black Periodicals FullText
Literary Resource Center
MLA Bibliography (EbscoHost)
C. Resource Centers:
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC)
Washington, D.C. 20059
Zora Neale Hurston Society
PO Box 550
Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland 21239
Zora Neale Hurston Fellowship Award
Department of Anthropology
1350 GPA Building A
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611