Zora Neale Hurston combined literature with anthropology, creatively relying on extensive ethnographic research and unique use of Black English to tell the stories of people in her native rural Florida and in the Caribbean. She became one of the most widely read authors of the Harlem Renaissance but died lonely and almost forgotten. Her reputation was resuscitated after Alice Walker's 1975 essay In Search of Zora Neale Hurston led to the rediscovery of novels such Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), and Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).
A published short story writer by the time she came to New York in 1925, Hurston studied anthropology at Barnard College, where she was the college's first African American student. After graduation at the age of 37, Hurston later pursued graduate work at Columbia with renowned anthropologist Franz Boas. She left New York to conduct research in Florida and in Haiti, her fieldwork resulting in the folklore collections Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938).
Hurston was a pioneering chronicler of Black folklore, a researcher of Black expression, and a creative imaginer of Black worlds via her novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. From her travels throughout the U.S. South to Haiti, Jamaica, and beyond, Hurston took as her mission a diasporic articulation of Black life in the Americas.
Adapted from "Zora Neale Hurston", Black history and culture, Columbia University. Online
BOYD, Valerie. (2004). Wrapped in rainbows: the life of Zora Neale Hurston. New York: Lisa Drew Books/Scribner. PDF
MEISENHELDER, Susan. (2007). “Conflict and Resistance in Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men”. In BLOOM, H. (ed.): Zora Neale Hurston – Bloom’s Modern Critical Views, pp.105-130. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism.
Books, essays, and other publications:
1921. John Redding Goes to Sea. Stylus 1 (May 1921), pp. 11–22.
1921. O Night. Stylus 1 (May 1921), p. 42.
1922. Poem. Howard University Record 16 (February 1922), p. 236.
1924. Drenched in Light. Opportunity 2 (December 1924), pp. 371–74.
1925. Spunk. Opportunity 3 (June 1925), pp. 171–73.
1925. Magnolia Flower. Spokesman, July 1925, pp. 26–29.
1925. The Hue and Cry About Howard University. Messenger 7 (September 1925), pp. 315–19, 338.
1925. Under the Bridge. X-Ray: Journal of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, December 1925.
1925. The Ten Commandments of Charm. X-Ray: Journal of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, December 1925.
1925. On Noses. X-Ray: Journal of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, December 1925.
1926. Muttsy. Opportunity 4 (August 1926), pp. 246–50.
1926. Possum or Pig. Forum 76 (September 1926), p. 465.
1926. The Eatonville Anthology. Messenger 8 (September–November 1926), pp. 261–62, 297, 319, 332.
1926. Color Struck: A Play. Fire!! 1 (November 1926), pp. 7–15.
1926. Sweat. Fire!! 1 (November 1926), pp. 40–45.
1927. The First One: A Play. Ebony and Topaz. Edited by Charles S. Johnson, pp. 53–57.
1927. Cudjo’s Own Story of the Last African Slaver. Journal of Negro History, 12:648-63.
1927. Communication. Journal of Negro History 12 (October 1927), pp. 664–67.
1928. How It Feels to Be Colored Me. World Tomorrow 11 (May 1928), pp. 215–16.
1930. Dance Songs and Tales from the Bahamas. Journal of American Folk-Lore 43 (July–September 1930), pp. 294–312.
1931. Hoodoo in America. Journal of American Folk-Lore 44 (October–December 1931), pp. 317–418.
1933. The Gilded Six-Bits. Story 3 (August 1933), pp. 60–70.
1934. Characteristics of Negro Expression. Negro: An Anthology. Edited by NancyCunard, pp. 39–46.
1934. Jonah’s Gourd Vine. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott. Online
1934. Conversations and Visions. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 47–49.
1934. Shouting. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 49–50.
1934. The Sermon. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 50–54.
1934. Mother Catharine. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 54–57.
1934. Uncle Monday. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 57–61.
1934. Spirituals and Neo-Spirituals. Negro: An Anthology, pp. 359–61.
1934. The Fire and the Cloud. Challenge 1 (September 1934), pp. 10–14
1934. Race Cannot Become Great Until It Recognizes Its Talent. Washington Tribune, December 29, 1934.
1935. Full of Mud, Sweat and Blood. Review of God Shakes Creation by David M. Cohn. New York Herald Tribune Books, November 3, p. 8.
1935/1990. Mules and Men. New York: HarperPerennial. Online
1937. Fannie Hurst by Her Ex-Amanuensis. Saturday Review, October 9, 1937, pp. 15–16.
1937. Star-Wrassling Sons-of-the-Universe. Review of The Hurricane’s Children by Carl Carmer. New York Herald Tribune Books, December 26, p. 4.
1937. Their eyes were watching God. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.
1938. Rural Schools for Negroes. Review of The Jeanes Teacher in the United States by Lance G. E. Jones. New York Herald Tribune Books, February 20, p. 24.
1938. Stories of Conflict. Review of Uncle Tom’s Children by Richard Wright. Saturday Review, April 2, 1938, p. 32.
1938/1990. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. New York: Harper Perennial. Online
1939. Moses, Man of the Mountain. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott. Online
1939. Now Take Noses. Cordially Yours, pp. 25–27.
1941. Cock Robin Beale Street. Southern Literary Messenger 3 (July 1941), pp. 321– 23.
1942. Story in Harlem Slang. American Mercury 55 (July 1942), pp. 84–96.
1942/1996. Dust Tracks on a Road. New York: HarperPerennial. Online
1942. Lawrence of the River. Saturday Evening Post, September 5, 1942, pp. 18, 55–57.
1943. The ‘Pet Negro’ System. American Mercury, 56:593-600.
1943. High John de Conquer. American Mercury 57 (October 1943), pp. 450–58.
1943. Negroes Without Self-Pity. American Mercury 57 (November 1943), pp. 601– 3.
1944. The Last Slave Ship. American Mercury 58 (March 1944), pp. 351–58.
1944. My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience. Negro Digest 2 (June 1944), pp. 25–26.
1945. The Rise of the Begging Joints. American Mercury 60 (March 1945), pp. 288– 94.
1945. Crazy for This Democracy. Negro Digest 4 (December 1945), pp. 45–48.
1946. Bible, Played by Ear in Africa. Review of How God Fix Jonah by Lorenz Graham. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, November 24, 1946, p. 5.
1946. Jazz Regarded as Social Achievement. Review of Shining Trumpets by Rudi Blesh. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, December 22, 1946, p. 8.1
1947. The Negro in the United States. Encyclopedia Americana, 1947 edition.
1947. Thirty Days Among Maroons. Review of Journey to Accompong by Katharine Dunham. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, January 12, 1947, p. 8.
1947. The Transplanted Negro. Review of Trinidad Village by Melville Herskovits and Frances Herskovits. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, March 9, 1947, p. 20.
1947. Review of Voodoo in New Orleans by Robert Tallant. Journal of American Folk-Lore 60 (October–December), pp. 436–38.
1948. Seraph on the Suwanee. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948. Online
1949. At the Sound of the Conch Shell. Review of New Day by Victor Stafford Reid. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, March 20, 1949, p. 4.
1950. The conscience of the Court. Saturday Evening Post, March 18, 1950, pp. 22, 23, 112–22.
1950. I Saw Negro Votes Peddled. American Legion Magazine 49 (November 1950), pp. 12–13, 54–57, 59–60.
1950. What White Publishers Won’t Print. In NAPIER, W. (ed.): African American Literary Theory: A Reader, pp.54-57. New York: NYU Press.
1951. Some Fabulous Caribbean Riches Revealed. Review of The Pencil of God by Pierre Marcelin and Philippe Thoby Marcelin. New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review, February 4, 1951, p. 5.
1951. Mourner’s Bench, Communist Line: Why the Negro Won’t Buy Communism. American Legion Magazine 50 (June 1951), pp. 14–15, 55–60.
1951. A Negro Voter Sizes Up Taft. Saturday Evening Post, December 8, 1951, pp.29, 150.
1952. Zora’s Revealing Story of Ruby’s First Day in Court. Pittsburgh Courier, October 11, 1952.
1952. Victim of Fate. Pittsburgh Courier, October 11, 1952.
1952. Ruby Is Sane; Trial Date Set. Pittsburgh Courier, October 18.
1952. Ruby McCollum Fights for Life. Pittsburgh Courier, November 22, 1952.
1952. Justice and Fair Play Aim of Judge Adams as Ruby Goes on Trial. Pittsburgh Courier, November 29.
1952. Ruby’s Lawyer Disqualified; Plot Reported. Pittsburgh Courier, November 29.
1952. McCollum-Adams Trial Highlights. Pittsburgh Courier, December 27.
1953. Ruby Bares Her Love. Pittsburgh Courier, January 3, 1953.
1953. Doctor’s Threats, Tussle Over Gun Led to Slaying. Pittsburgh Courier, January 10.
1953. Ruby’s Troubles Mount. Pittsburgh Courier, January 17.
1953. The Life Story of Mrs. Ruby J. McCollum! Pittsburgh Courier, February 28, March 7, 14, 21, and 28, April 4, 11, 18, and 25, and May 2.
1956. The Trial of Ruby McCollum, in Ruby McCollum: Woman in the Suwanee Jail, by William Bradford Huie (New York: E. P. Dutton), pp. 89–101.
1958. This Juvenile Delinquency. Fort Pierce Chronicle, December 12.
1959. The Tripson Story. Fort Pierce Chronicle, February 6, 1959.
1959. The Farm Laborer at Home. Fort Pierce Chronicle, February 27.
1959. Hoodoo and Black Magic. Column in Fort Pierce Chronicle, July 11, 1958– August 7.
1979. I Love Myself When I Am Laughing ... & Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader. Edited by Alice Walker, introduction by Mary Helen Washington. Old Westbury, N.Y.: The Feminist Press. Online
1985. Spunk: The Selected Short Stories of Zora Neale Hurston. Berkeley, Calif.: Turtle Island Foundation. Online
1981. The Sanctified Church. Foreword by Toni Cade Bambara. Berkeley, Calif.: Turtle Island Foundation. Online
1991. Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life. Written with Langston Hughes. Edited and with introductions by George Houston Bass and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: HarperPerennial. Online
1995. The Complete Stories. Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Sieglinde Lemke. New York: HarperCollins. Online
1995. Folklore, Memoirs, & Other Writings. Edited and with notes by Cheryl A. Wall. New York: Library of America. Online
1995. Novels and Stories. Edited and with notes by Cheryl A. Wall. New York: Library of America.
1997. Sweat. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. Online
1999. Go Gator and Muddy the Water: Writings by Zora Neale Hurston from the Federal Writers’ Project. Edited and with a biographical essay by Pamela Bordelon. New York: W. W. Norton. Online
2001. Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro FolkTales from the Gulf States. Edited by Carla Kaplan, foreword by John Edgar Wideman. New York: HarperCollins. Online
2003. Zora Neale Hurston: a life in letters. New York: Anchor Books. Online
2004. The skull talks back and other haunting tales. New York: HarperCollins. Online
2008. Zora Neale Hurston: Collected Plays. N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
2018. Barracoon: the story of the last “Black Cargo". Edited by Deborah Plant. New York: Amistad.
2021. Seus olhos viam Deus. Rio de Janeiro: Record. The Brazilian edition of Their eyes were watching God.
2021. Olualê Kossola: as palavras do último homem negro escravizado. Com prefácio de Alice Walker e Introdução à edição brasileira por Messias Basques. Rio de Janeiro: Record. The Brazilian edition of Barracoon: the story of the last "Black Cargo".
2022. You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays. New York: HarperCollins.