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A biography of the versatile and prolific Afro-American writer, well-known for her novels and collections of Black folklore
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Grade 10 Up-Composed of one biographical and three critical essays, this title offers a glimpse into Hurston's impetus to write and the praise and criticism she received as an author. Norma Jean Lutz discusses the resurgence of interest in Hurston's writing, propelled by Alice Walker's article "Looking for Zora" published in Ms. magazine in 1975. While Lutz is thorough in her biographical essay, she discounts material from the writer's autobiography, making the point that Hurston often did not tell the truth concerning her own life. Lutz also cites Robert Hemenway's biography so many times that his name might as well have been included instead of hers. All three critical essays concentrate on Hurston's most heralded novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, with some notice to Mules and Men and her folkloric writings. Each essay also assesses the criticism that Hurston received from her contemporaries. This title is well researched and well organized, but narrow in scope. The critical essays are limited in explication and overlap considerably. For a book with a wider scope and more in-depth coverage of various works, try Josie P. Campbell's Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston (Greenwood, 2001).
Delia Fritz, Mercersburg Academy, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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