The Esoteric Mission of Zora Neale Hurston (Paperback)
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The Zora Neale Hurston discussed in the essays collected in this volume bears no resemblance to the bodacious, womanist Zora Neale Hurston as she is commonly presented. Historically, the scholarly work on Hurston has been a matter of over-reaching, fantasy, projection, and wish fulfillment. These four essays refuse the critical discourses that have been used to misread so badly and to misconstrue so routinely Hurston's texts, to distort and overwrite her ideology, and to disfigure her identity. For the first time since Hurston's texts were revived in the 1970s, light is thrown comprehensively on the many problems raised by Hurston and her fiction and non-fiction writings. By contextualizing Hurston as a major figure in a lost literary movement, Oragean Modernism, these essays resolve the several contradictions that have made Hurston such a controversial and enigmatic cultural figure. This unprecedented Hurston is shown to have been a literary collaborator with William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.