We're back! You can now place requests for physical library materials on this website. Please contact your local library for hold pickup information.

Zora Neale Hurston's final decade

by Moylan, Virginia Lynn.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3515.U789 Z788 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3515.U789 Z788 2011

An intriguing investigation of the famous writer's turbulent final years

"'Courage' is the last word that Zora Neale Hurston wrote in her letters. And Hurston's courage is what Virginia Lynn Moylan documents in this moving and meticulously researched account of the end of Hurston's life."--Anna Lillios, author of Crossing the Creek

"Moylan's account of Hurston's last decade contributes to our understanding of a complex artist and individual--one who was pivotal in the creation of the first 'anthropologically correct' baby doll and yet opposed court-ordered desegregation."--M. Genevieve West, author of Zora Neale Hurston and American Literary Culture

"Hats off to Virginia Lynn Moylan for filling in missing pieces of Hurston's life story. This sympathetic biography of Hurston's last years is both a lively introduction to her life and a must-have book for Hurston fans. . . . Add[s] heft and richness to our understanding of all that Hurston was up against and just how much she achieved, in spite of the odds."--Carla Kaplan, author of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters

In 1948, false accusations of child molestation all but erased the reputation and career Zora Neale Hurston had worked for decades to build. Sensationalized in the profit-seeking press and relentlessly pursued by a prosecution more interested in a personal crusade than justice, the morals charge brought against her nearly drove her to suicide.

But she lived on. She lived on past her accuser's admission that he had fabricated his whole story. She lived on for another twelve years, during which time she participated in some of the most remarkable events, movements, and projects of the day.

Since her death, scholars and the public have rediscovered Hurston's work and conscientiously researched her biography. Nevertheless, the last decade of her life has remained relatively unexplored. Virginia Moylan fills in the details--investigating subjects as varied as Hurston's reporting on the trial of Ruby McCollum (a black woman convicted of murdering her white lover), her participation in designing an "anthropologically correct" black baby doll to combat stereotypes, her impassioned and radical biography of King Herod, and her controversial objections to court-ordered desegregation.

Virginia Lynn Moylan , educator and independent scholar, is a founding member of the Fort Pierce, Florida, Annual Zora Festival and a contributing author to The Inside Light: New Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston .

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In 1948, Hurston's promising though iconoclastic career was nearly ruined by false accusations of child molestation. Sensationalized reporting by some in the black press added to a despair that drove Hurston nearly to suicide. But she returned to Florida, the setting of many of her works and a place of respite, where she continued to write for the next 12 years. Hurston also stirred up controversy by opposing the Brown decision and forced desegregation and developing friendships with politicians disfavored by civil rights veterans. Estranged from the black establishment, she nonetheless worked for racial justice, covering the trial of a black woman in Florida charged with the murder of her white lover, a prominent doctor. Hurston struggled with illness and penury before dying in a nursing home at 69, with her books out of print. Moylan interviewed Hurston's friends and neighbors and drew on archival material, including never-before-published letters, to offer this look at the final decade in the life of a woman who was a writer, an anthropologist, and a folklorist unafraid to challenge conventions.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Moylan's goal-"to freshly interpret" Zora Neale Hurston's tumultuous final decade, rocked by scandal and the author's controversial political views-is ill-met by this well-intentioned but clunky biography. Moylan, founding member of the Fort Pierce, Fla., Annual Zora Festival, draws heavily on two texts (Valerie Boyd's biography Wrapped in Rainbows, and Carla Kaplan's edition of Hurston's letters, Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters), supplemented by a number of interviews with the employers, acquaintances, and friends of Hurston's last decade. After a brief biographical sketch of Hurston's early years, Moylan addresses, in term-paperish prose, the false child molestation charges that, even after they were recanted, left Hurston's reputation in tatters, and her very controversial (in Moylan's words, "eccentric") objections to Brown v. Board of Education and desegregation on the grounds that, in her perspective, "racial uplift" would come by individual effort alone. Hurston's final creative projects-her development of an "anthropologically correct" black baby doll and planned biography of King Herod attest to how the famously idiosyncratic and iconoclastic writer remained deeply unpredictable and fascinating, and that her "lost years" merit a thoughtful and thorough biography. Unfortunately, this meandering, amateurish account isn't it. (Mar.) Theories of International (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Hurston, Zora Neale -- Last years.
Hurston, Zora Neale -- Homes and haunts -- Florida.
Authors, American -- Homes and haunts -- Florida.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
African American women authors -- Biography.
African American authors -- Biography.
Publisher Gainesville :University Press of Florida,2011
Language English
Description 193 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 171-186) and index.
ISBN 9780813035789 (alk. paper)
0813035783 (alk. paper)
Other Classic View