10 Interesting Facts about Zora Neale Hurston

These following facts about Zora Neale Hurston will probably broaden your mind about various folklore you love. If you love to read or study about folklore, then you should read one of these facts about her. Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist, anthropologist and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. She was born in January 7, 1891 and died in January 28, 1960 at the age of 69 years old. Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. To get to know more about her, here are some other facts about Zora Neale Hurston you may like.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 1: Folkloric Fieldwork

Hurston traveled extensively in the Caribbean and the American South and immersed herself in local cultural practices to conduct her anthropological research. Her work in the South often regarded as a folklore classic, as well as the base material for novels like “Jonah’s Gourd Vine” published in 1934.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 2: Marriage

In 1927, Hurston married Herbert Sheen, a jazz musician and former classmate at Howard who would later become a physician, but the marriage ended in 1931. In 1939, while Hurston was working for the WPA, she married Albert Price, a 23-year-old fellow WPA employee, and 25 years her junior, but this marriage ended after only seven months.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston - Zora Neale Hurston

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston – Zora Neale Hurston

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 3: Literary Career

In later life, in addition to continuing her literary career, Hurston served on the faculty of North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) in Durham, North Carolina. She also established, in 1934, a school of dramatic arts “based on pure Negro expression” at Bethune-Cookman University (at the time, Bethune-Cookman College) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 4: 1920 Activities

When Hurston arrived in New York City in 1925, the Harlem Renaissance was at its peak, and she soon became one of the writers at its center. Shortly before she entered Barnard, Hurston’s short story “Spunk” was selected for “The New Negro”, a landmark anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays focusing on African and African-American art and literature.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston - Portrait of Hurston

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston – Portrait of Hurston

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 5: 1930 Activities

By the mid-1930s, Hurston had published several short stories and the critically acclaimed Mules and Men (1935), a groundbreaking work of “literary anthropology” documenting African-American folklore. In 1930, she also collaborated with Langston Hughes on “Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life in Three Acts, a play that was never finished, although it was published posthumously in 1991.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 6: 1940 Activities

In the 1940s, Hurston’s work was published in such periodicals as “The American Mercury” and “The Saturday Evening Post”. Her last published novel, “Seraph on the Suwanee”, was published in 1948. It explores images of “white trash” women.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston - Family

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston – Family

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 7: Public Obscurity

Hurston’s work slid into obscurity for decades, for a number of cultural and political reasons. Many readers objected to the representation of African-American dialect in Hurston’s novels, given the racially charged history of dialect fiction in American literature. Her stylistic choices in terms of dialogue were influenced by her academic experiences.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 8: Posthumous Recognition

An article, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston”, by Alice Walker, published in the March 1975 issue of “Ms.” magazine, revived interest in Hurston’s work. The reemergence of her work coincided with the emergence of authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Walker herself, whose works are centered on African-American experiences and include, but do not necessarily focus upon, racial struggle.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston - Old

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston – Old

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 9: Film and Television

In 1989 PBS aired a drama based on Hurston’s life entitled “Zora is My Name!”. The 2004 film “Brother to Brother”, set in part during the Harlem Renaissance, featured Hurston (portrayed by Aunjanue Ellis). “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was adapted for a 2005 film of the same title by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, with a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks. The film starred Halle Berry as Janie Starks.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston 10: Death

During a period of financial and medical difficulties, Hurston was forced to enter St. Lucie County Welfare Home, where she suffered a stroke; she died of hypertensive heart disease on January 28, 1960, and was buried at the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston - Film Adaption

Facts about Zora Neale Hurston – Film Adaption

Those who love literature and still study over it may have considered those following facts about Zora Neale Hurston really useful. Hope you would find those Zora Neale Hurston facts really interesting.

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