Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist. An author of four novels (Jonah's Gourd Vine, 1934; Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937; Moses, Man of the Mountain, 1939; and Seraph on the Suwanee, 1948); two books of folklore (Mules and Men, 1935, and Tell My Horse, 1938); an autobiography (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942); and over fifty short stories, essays, and plays. She attended Howard University, Barnard College and Columbia University, and was a graduate of Barnard College in 1927. She was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and grew up in Eatonville, Florida. She died in Fort Pierce, in 1960. In 1973, Alice Walker had a headstone placed at her gravesite with this epitaph: "Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South."
Nearly 60 years after its publication during the Harlem Renaissance and about 20 years since Alice Walker reclaimed it, Hurston's lost classic comes alive in this audio production. In depicting one of the first strong black women of 20th-century literature, Hurston's story of Janie Crawford pulls the listener into a timeless world of love, struggle, and self-exploration. Janie's quest for both love and fulfillment may be more powerful for modern audiences than its original readership; indeed, the novel was widely denounced by Hurston's male contemporaries and critics. Reader Michele-Denise Woods capably narrates the story. The novel has served as inspiration for a host of current writers, including Walker and Gloria Naylor. Highly recommended.-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.