Catalogue


Zora Neale Hurston and American literary culture /
M. Genevieve West.
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2005.
description
xv, 300 p.
ISBN
0813028302 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2005.
isbn
0813028302 (acid-free paper)
general note
Originally presented as the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--Florida State University, 1997, under title: Zora Neale Hurston's place in America literary culture.
catalogue key
5436584
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
M. Genevieve West is associate professor of English at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-01-01:
Countering critics who have been unable to reconcile aspects of Hurston's behavior and her stature as a writer, West (Ferris State Univ.) contributes a balanced measure of Hurston. She begins with Hurston's place in the Harlem Renaissance, with its ideological division over the nature and function of black art, and looks at various issues: What controlled the reception of Hurston and her works? What shaped her reputation? Why did she not become a major, successful writer in her own lifetime? While some suspected that Hurston violated norms of black/female behavior and confusion mounted about her role as writer--folklorist? novelist?--her publisher's marketing strategies, according to West, were often at odds with the purpose of Hurston's texts. This resulted in uncertainties on the part of readers and reviewers (black and white), who confused their expectations (prejudice) of Hurston with her texts. West is thorough in exploring the reception of Hurston's work, and she offers effective readings of texts, among them the novel Moses. Heretofore, understanding of Hurston's reputation and reception has been based primarily on opinion. This important volume supplants opinion with substantive, detailed facts. Illustrations from book jackets and advertisements are included, as are notes. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. B. E. McCarthy emeritus, College of the Holy Cross
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
"Genevieve West's impressive new study clearly documents the course of Zora Neale Hurston's remarkable literary career and her rise from near obscurity at the time of her death to acknowledgment in the 1990s as the foremost writer of the Harlem Renaissance."--Cary D. Wintz, Texas Southern University Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston's writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurston died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotypes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historical/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, and the rise of black feminist thought.
Main Description
Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston’s writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurston died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotypes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historical/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, and the rise of black feminist thought.
Main Description
Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston's writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurston died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotypes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historical/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, and the rise of black feminist thought.
Long Description
Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston's writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurtson died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotyes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historicaal/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, andthe rise of black feminist thought.
Description for Bookstore
"Genevieve West's impressive new study clearly documents the course of Zora Neale Hurston's remarkable literary career and her rise from near obscurity at the time of her death to acknowledgment in the 1990s as the foremost writer of the Harlem Renaissance."--Cary D. Wintz, Texas Southern University Genevieve West examines the cultural history of Zora Neale Hurston’s writing and the reception of her work, in an attempt to explain why Hurston died in obscure poverty only to be reclaimed as an important Harlem Renaissance writer decades after her death. Unlike other books on Hurston, this study focuses on how Hurston was marketed and reviewed during her career and how literary scholars reappraised her after her death. While her publisher's approach to marketing Hurston as an African American fiction writer and folklorist increased her popularity among the general reading public, her fellow Harlem Renaissance authors often excoriated her as an exploiter of African American culture and a propagator of black stereotypes. Eventually, the criticism outweighed the popularity, and her writing fell out of fashion. It was only after critics reconsidered her work in the 1960s and 1970s that she eventually regained her status as one of the best writers of her generation. No other book has focused on this aspect of Hurston's career, nor has any book so systematically used marketing materials and reviews to track Hurston's literary reputation. As a result, West's study will provide a new perspective on Hurston and on the ways that the politics of race, class, and gender impact canon formation in American literary culture. This study is based on numerous interviews, short fiction previously undocumented in Hurston scholarship, an innovative analysis of advertisements and dust jackets, examinations of letters by and about Hurston, and the examination of historical/literary contexts, including the Harlem Renaissance, the protest movement, the assimilationist movement, the Black Arts movement, and the rise of black feminist thought.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Negotiating Ideologies of the Harlem Renaissance: The Politics of Hurston's Art and Identityp. 14
Making a Way: Fighting "The Line of Least Resistance"p. 53
A Highway through the Wildernessp. 91
Voodoo: Fact and Fictionp. 127
"The Tragedies of Life"p. 169
Talking Back: Taking a Stand on Race and Politicsp. 192
The Making of an Iconp. 229
Conclusionp. 249
Notesp. 253
Works Citedp. 263
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem