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I Love Myself When I Am Laughing And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean & Impressive 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0912670669
ISBN-10: 0912670665
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Helen Washington is Professor of English at the University of Maryland and editor of the anthologies MEMORY OF KIN: STORIES ABOUT FAMILY BY BLACK WRITERS and BLACK-EYED SUSANS AND MIDNIGHT BIRDS: STORIES BY AND ABOUT BLACK WOMEN.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; 1st edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0912670665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0912670669
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Zora Neale Hurston was born on Jan. 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama. Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida, when she was still a toddler. Her writings reveal no recollection of her Alabama beginnings. For Hurston, Eatonville was always home.
Growing up in Eatonville, in an eight-room house on five acres of land, Zora had a relatively happy childhood, despite frequent clashes with her preacher-father. Her mother, on the other hand, urged young Zora and her seven siblings to "jump at de sun."
Hurston's idyllic childhood came to an abrupt end, though, when her mother died in 1904. Zora was only 13 years old.
After Lucy Hurston's death, Zora's father remarried quickly and seemed to have little time or money for his children. Zora worked a series of menial jobs over the ensuing years, struggled to finish her schooling, and eventually joined a Gilbert & Sullivan traveling troupe as a maid to the lead singer. In 1917, she turned up in Baltimore; by then, she was 26 years old and still hadn't finished high school. Needing to present herself as a teenager to qualify for free public schooling, she lopped 10 years off her life--giving her age as 16 and the year of her birth as 1901. Once gone, those years were never restored: From that moment forward, Hurston would always present herself as at least 10 years younger than she actually was.
Zora also had a fiery intellect, and an infectious sense of humor. Zora used these talents--and dozens more--to elbow her way into the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, befriending such luminaries as poet Langston Hughes and popular singer/actress Ethel Waters.
By 1935, Hurston--who'd graduated from Barnard College in 1928--had published several short stories and articles, as well as a novel (Jonah's Gourd Vine) and a well-received collection of black Southern folklore (Mules and Men). But the late 1930s and early '40s marked the real zenith of her career. She published her masterwork, Their Eyes Were Watching God, in 1937; Tell My Horse, her study of Caribbean Voodoo practices, in 1938; and another masterful novel, Moses, Man of the Mountain, in 1939. When her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, was published in 1942, Hurston finally received the well-earned acclaim that had long eluded her. That year, she was profiled in Who's Who in America, Current Biography and Twentieth Century Authors. She went on to publish another novel, Seraph on the Suwanee, in 1948.
Still, Hurston never received the financial rewards she deserved. So when she died on Jan. 28, 1960--at age 69, after suffering a stroke--her neighbors in Fort Pierce, Florida, had to take up a collection for her funeral. The collection didn't yield enough to pay for a headstone, however, so Hurston was buried in a grave that remained unmarked until 1973.
That summer, a young writer named Alice Walker traveled to Fort Pierce to place a marker on the grave of the author who had so inspired her own work.
Walker entered the snake-infested cemetery where Hurston's remains had been laid to rest. Wading through waist-high weeds, she soon stumbled upon a sunken rectangular patch of ground that she determined to be Hurston's grave. Walker chose a plain gray headstone. Borrowing from a Jean Toomer poem, she dressed the marker up with a fitting epitaph: "Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a collection of work from the novelist Zora Neale Hurston. It contains fourteen remarkable selections from a writer who produced novels, essays and letters from 1920 - 1950. It is an anthology of works that provides a wonderful insight into American social and cultural history as well as offering an incredible mental picture of the woman - Hurston. The book is edited by Alice Walker.In 2007 the Guardian newspaper asked women to recommend a book that had made an impact on them as women. Zadie Smith wrote passionately about Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and how, having read this book, her life and writing had been enriched.

I feel at last here was recognition for a black woman writer who Alice Walker describes as "a woman ahead of her time

The book is an extraordinary journey through the title. Hurston writes about black American `folk art' that is questioning and without apology. In the words of Alice Walker "the language of the characters, that `dialect' that has been laughed at, denied or ignored, or `improved' so that white folks ......can understand it is simply beautiful".

Hurston's writing is mean and impressive and she challenges the reader to think and go back and think again - about the meaning of her words. You find yourself asking: is she challenging the `politics' of the day in Crazy for This Democracy, or is she an artist of words, challenging assumptions about ethnicity and culture in What White Publishers Won't Print?

I have dipped into this book over the years and never cease to be amazed and thankful for a language that is rich in meaning and colour, never dull and always inspirational and always able to provide a quote or a text that has meaning for today's readers. I do not think this anthology is now in print.
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By A Customer on January 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Zora Neal Hurston was an iconoclast. In her time her career suffered because she wasn't interested in writing the kind of stuff Langston Hughes and Richard Wright were churning out. The editors of this collection of excerpts of her major works are a lot like her critics. They try mightily to portray Zora as something she was not and are puzzled by Zora's statements that seem pretty straightforward to me. Read Zora's stories, folklore and especially the excerpt from her biography and skip the commentary.
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I am using this text as mainly research for an honors thesis I am writing for my Undergraduate English major. Although it was extremely helpful making connections and describing Hurston the author, it was also extremely enjoyable, holding not only critical essays but exerpts as well. I'd recommend it to any Hurston fan.
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By Kat on September 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the best comp of Zora Neale Hurston I have read. Great foreword and perspectives added from Alice Walker. A must have in your collection.
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Zora Neal Hurston is one of the great American writers - she actually studies anthropology and gives an accurate portrayal of life of Black folks in the south after WWI. Some critics do not like her use of dialect, but I think it reads as honest.
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I'm a big fan of Zora Neale Hurston and this did not disappoint. Hurston was under appreciated in her lifetime but has gained literary popularity in recent years. I highly recommend her body of work.
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