Public domain photo of Zora Neale Hurston, by Carl Van Vechten

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the African American novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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biography & introduction

Their Eyes Were Watching God. Selected for "The Big Read," Erika Koss, editor. Contents: Readers Guide contains Introduction, Historical Context, About the Author, Other Works/Adaptations, Discussion Questions, Bibliography; Teacher's Guide contains Schedule/Lesson Plans, Capstone Project Ideas, Essay Topics; and an audio radio program. National Endowment for the Arts.

Howard, Lillie P. "Zora Neale Hurston." An extended biography of Hurston, includes a list of her books, from educational publisher Gale/Cengage.

"Zora Neale Hurston." A profile of Hurston from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

"The Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress." Presentation on Hurston from the Library of Congress, includes a timeline, photos of Hurston, and scanned images of several of her plays.

"Zora Neale Hurston." An introduction to Hurston from Voices From the Gaps, Women Writers of Color, a web project at the Univ. of Minnesota.

Johnson, Yvonne. "Zora Neale Hurston." An introduction to Hurston from the Literary Encyclopedia, 04 March 2005 [subscription service].


literary criticism

Batker, Carol. "'Love me like I like to be': the sexual politics of Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, the classic blues and the Black Women's Club movement." African American Review 32, 2 (Summer 1998) pp 199-213 [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Burrows, Stuart. "'Your heard her, you ain't blind': Seeing what's said in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 34 (Summer 2001) [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Ciuba, Gary. "The worm against the word: The hermeneutical challenge in Hurston's Jonah's Gourd Vine. On Hurston as a "preacher," beginning with her first novel. African American Review 34, 1 (Spring 2000) pp 119-33 [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Clarke, Deborah. "'The porch couldn't talk for looking': Voice and vision in Their Eyes Were Watching God. African American Review 35, 4 (Winter 2001) pp 595-619 [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Daley, Christine. "A Rocky Road to Posterity: The Publication of Zora Neale Hurston." A reception study of Zora Neale Hurston. Says Prof. Daley, "Hurston, a controversial figure in her own time, has proved to be a touchstone of modern reception of both African-American literature and unconventional writing by women." Womenwriters.net.

Davis, Doris. "'De Talkin' Game': The Creation of Psychic Space in Selected Short Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 26 (Fall 2007).

Jackson, Chuck. Waste and Whiteness: Zora Neale Hurston and the Politics of Eugenics [on Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), "Gilded Six-Bits" (1933), and "Sweat" (1926)] African American Review 34, 4 (Winter 2000) pp 639-60 [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Johnson, Maria V. "'The world in a jug and the stopper in hand':'Their Eyes' as blues performance." [Their Eyes Were Watching God]. African American Review 32, 3 (Fall 1998) pp 401-14 [first page only, blurred, jstor].

Jirousek, Lori. "'That Commonality of Feeling': Hurston, Hybridity, and Ethnography." African American Review 38 (Fall 2004) [sub ser, questia].

Simmons, Ryan. "'The hierarchy itself': Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and the sacrifice of narrative authority." African American Review 36, 2 (Summer 2002) [sub ser, questia.

Trefzer, Annette. "Possessing the Self: Caribbean Identities in Zora Neale Hurston's Tell My Horse." African American Review 34, 2 (Summer 2000) [sub ser, questia].

Trombold, John. "The Minstrel Show Goes to the Great War: Zora Neale Hurston's Mass Cultural Other." MELUS (Spring 1999) [first page only].

Weathers, Glenda B. "Biblical trees, biblical deliverance: literary landscapes of Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison." African American Review 39, 1/2 (Spring-Summer 2005) [sub ser, questia].


teaching materials

"Zora Neale Hurston," ed. Robert Hemenway. A brief teaching guide, her themes, style, audience. From educational publisher Heath.

Teachers resources for Their Eyes Were Watching God created by C-Span for their 2002 American Writers II series.

"Folktales of Zora Neale Hurston." A guide for teaching Zora Neale Hurston, from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.


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