Biographies: Zora Neale Hurston

I love to read about the lives of other people. Often the stories of unknown people are the most interesting! Until a few years ago, I hadn’t discovered the work of Zora Neale Hurston. She was a major player in the Harlem Renaissance, making a rich and varied contribution to American literature. Daughter of a Baptist minister in Eatonville ,FL, she eventually managed to enter Howard University. She published her first short story in 1921.

Most of all she had a joy for living, loud and powerful.In her high school yearbook, among  the uninspired quotes of most students , she wrote,” I have a heart with room for every joy.” She loved to play the piano, belt out a song and dance all night.

I read ner novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God and immediately became a fan. Then I found Valerie Boyd’s biography of Zora,  Wrapped in Rainbows. This book made a deep impression on me.

It was hard to believe that such a great woman with many outstanding achievements in the theater and literary world, would end up penniless and, at the time, relatively unknown. At 65, she took a job working as a librarian for $1.88 an hour. She was still writing another book when she died.

If you have never read her books, I recommend you try ,“Their Eyes..” But if you love true stories about peoples’ lives like I do, definitely read her biography! You can learn more about her on <;

Do you have a Biography to recommend to me?? I’d like to hear from you.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky N
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 10:44:54

    I’ve meant to pick up one of her books at the library and then have forgotten; am glad for this reminder and will definitely do this on my next trip.


  2. kabablanket
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 00:01:35

    I read “Their eyes were…” a couple of years back, and I liked it a lot.
    At the time, I remember being so impressed by Zora Neale Hurston because I learned that she was not only a writer, but she did anthropologist like work too, when times were rough for not only women, but for African American women.
    I didn’t realize there was an actual biography out on her! I will need to read that sometime.

    I like memoirs and biography. Right now I’m attempting to read the new biography out on Malcolm X (it came out last year). It’s a big book though, and I hope I don’t get discouraged before i finish it.

    My favorite biography….hmmm. Somehow I can’t think of one that stands out but i remember being so inspired and amazed when I read Tomihiro Hoshino’s (a Japanese painter who is paralyzed neck down but paints beautiful pictures with paintbrush in his mouth) life as a child.

    A biography that i would like to read that i’ve never read is of Benjamin Franklin (what a productive man!) and about your life 🙂


  3. cheerfulwoman
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 02:24:57

    Zora Neale Hurston was indeed pretty amazing.

    The last biography I read was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It was about how one woman’s cancer cells led to huge breakthroughs in science, and how she and her family knew nothing about what was being done.


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