Zora Neale Hurston, Unsung Heroine

By January 7, 2019 Authors

Author Zora Neale Hurston was born on 7th January 1891 in Alabama but in 1894 moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida. This town in Orange County has since become the setting of many of her books and there is even a Zora! Festival of the Arts and Humanities, started in 1990 in her honour and still held even 128 years after her birth.

It is not surprising that the town of Eatonville would want to honour such an influential writer who has written four novels and had over 50 short stories, plays and essays published, the most popular being her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston conducted anthropological and ethnographic research during her time at Barnard College, research which is evident in her African-American literature, that portrays racial struggles prominent in the 20th Century American South. She also conducted research into Haitian Voodoo, participating in the ritual, rather than just observing, this personal experience was published in her book Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica.

Sadly, Hurston’s work went mostly unrecognised until 1975, 15 years after her death, when author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning epistolary novel The Color Purple, Alice Walker published ‘In Search of Zora Neale Hurston’ in an issue of Ms. Magazine.

A clear admirer of Huston’s writing, when her non-fiction book, Barracoon, was published posthumously in 2018, Alice Walker stated “Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece.” Barracoon, tells the story of Cudjo Lewis, one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, whom Hurston first interviewed in 1927, before spending a further three months talking through his life in detail in 1931. These memories and horrific injustices now fill the pages of Hurston’s most recently published book.

On 28th January 1960, Zora Neale Hurston sadly died of hypertensive heart disease and was buried in a grave (unmarked until 1973) at the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida. In her 1975 article, Walker wrote, “It was impossible for me to cry when I saw the field full of weeds where Zora is. Partly this is because I have come to know Zora through her books and she was not a teary sort of person herself; but partly too, it is because there is a point at which even grief feels absurd. And at this point, laughter gushes up to retrieve sanity.”

5 Caryl Phillips Quotes That’ll Make You Want to Read His Books

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Caryl Phillips (13th March 1958) is a Kittitian- British novelist and playwright, best known for his award winning novels. His work often focuses on the experiences of people of the African diaspora in England, the Caribbean, and the USA. As well as writing, Phillips has worked as an academic at various institutions including Amherst College, and Yale University, where he has held the position of Professor of English since 2005.

To date, Caryl Phillips has written more than a dozen novels, historical fiction and plays. Today we’re going to bring attention to some of those works with some quotes and the books they come from.
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Tabitha King reminds us she is far more than ‘Stephen’s wife’

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Tabitha King is an award winning writer who just happens to be married to another popular novelist.

Neither of the writers shy away from speaking out against injustice and very recently Tabitha expressed her annoyance at everyday sexism she encountered in the media. Her husband Stephen used his extremely popular Twitter account to spread her message, and point out the blatant sexism in their headline and article where Tabitha was merely ‘Stephen King’s wife’.

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Data Reveals the Most Popular Books are Written by Men

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Many people just pick up a book, read it and decide from there whether they love it or not, for others the gender of the author is important. The gender gap in literature has been present for years, perpetuated through history by male nom de plumes and lack of respect generally for female literature.

Some bookshops have even gone so far as to create visual experiments to show how many of the shelves are dominated by male authors.

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Andrea Levy, dies age 62

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British author Andrea Levy was born on 7 March 1956 to Jamaican parents. Her father came to Britain on Empire Windrush in 1948, and her mother followed not long after. It is no surprise then, that Levy’s experience of growing up black in a country that was still predominately white is reflected in her novels which focus on the Windrush Generation, British Jamaicans and their experiences of racial, cultural and national identity.

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J. D Salinger’s Unseen Works to be Published

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The son of J. D Salinger has confirmed that the author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen and that he and his father’s widow are preparing the previously unseen work for publication.

Its eight years since Salinger died in 2010 leaving behind a body of published works including the iconic The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, For Esme with Love and Squalor and other works. However, the author had not published anything since 1965’s New Yorker story Hapworth 16, 1924, his last published work.
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Rosamunde Pilcher, Author of The Shell Seekers, Dead

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Rosamunde Pilcher, author of The Shell Seekers, and other wholesome novels has died at the age of 94 her agent confirmed yesterday. The novelist who penned nearly thirty romance and fiction books between 1949 and 2000 when she retired died following a short illness.

Pilcher was born Rosamunde E. M. L Scott on 22nd September 1924 in Lelant on the north coast of Cornwall and began writing aged 7. She was just 15 when she had her first short story published. In the late 1940s Pilcher began to write for Mills & Boon, publishing her stories under the pseudonym Jane Fraser.

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