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Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston [Hardcover]

By Valerie Boyd (Author)
Our Price $ 25.50  
Retail Value $ 30.00  
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Item Number 153157  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   528
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.6" Width: 6.44" Height: 1.58"
Weight:   1.78 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 31, 2002
Publisher   Scribner
ISBN  0684842300  
EAN  9780684842301  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Traces the career of the influential African-American writer, citing the historical backdrop of her life and work while considering her relationships with and influences on top literary, intellectual, and artistic figures.

Publishers Description
A woman of enormous talent, remarkable drive, and rare intellectual prowess, Zora Neale Hurston published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, many short stories, and several articles and plays over a career that spanned more than thirty years. Although she enjoyed some popularity during her lifetime, her greatest acclaim has come posthumously. All of her books were out of print when she died in poverty in 1960, but today nearly every black woman writer of significance -- including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker -- acknowledges Hurston as a literary foremother. And her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, has become a crucial part of the American literary canon. Yet, despite the recent renewed interest in Hurston's work, she remains, as a friend and contemporary described her, "a woman half in shadow."

Wrapped in Rainbows -- the first biography of Zora Neale Hurston in twenty-five years -- illuminates the complexities of an extraordinary life. Born in Alabama in 1891, Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida, when she was still a toddler. In this close-knit community -- the first incorporated all-black town in America -- she spent a pleasant childhood, happily imbibing the rich language and folk culture of the rural black South. When Hurston was still a girl, her mother died, and her father's swift remarriage led to the family's dispersal. Hurston spent the next decade wandering in search of parental figures, working menial jobs, and charting her own course into adulthood. Reinventing herself at the age of twenty-six, she entered high school in Baltimore by claiming to be ten years younger -- a fiction she would maintain throughout her life. Hurston went on to attend Howard University and Barnard College, and during this time launched her writing career in the midst of the blossoming Harlem Renaissance. In New York, she developed relationships with luminaries such as Langston Hughes, Ethel Waters, Fannie Hurst, and Carl Van Vechten. Hurston periodically left New York to travel the country (and the world) collecting black music, poetry, and literature -- becoming one of the most important folklore collectors of her time, as well as one of the most enduring writers of her century.

Wrapped in Rainbows presents a full picture of Hurston as both a writer and a woman, shedding new light on her public and private lives. Drawing on meticulous research and a wealth of crucial information that has emerged over the past twenty years, Valerie Boyd delves into Hurston's thirst for the limelight, her sexuality and short-lived marriages, her mysterious relationship with Vodou, and her occasionally controversial political views. With the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, and World War II as historical backdrops, Wrapped in Rainbows not only positions Hurston's work in her time but offers implications for our own.

Featuring more than thirty-five black-and-white photographs -- including some that have never been published -- Wrapped in Rainbows is an eloquent profile of one of the most intriguing cultural figures of the twentieth century.

Buy Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780684842301 & 0684842300

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More About Valerie Boyd

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Boyd is an arts editor and book critic at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Valerie Boyd currently resides in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Genius of Zora  Apr 18, 2008
I had been reading about the genius of Zora for several years, but I had no idea of what she was about. I heard Valerie Boyd speaking about her biography on Zora C Span. She spoke about Zora with such love and respect that I felt that I had to get the book. In Boyd's hands, what is generally portrayed as a tragic life becomes a story of triumph. In spite of poverty, sexism, and racism, she was able to produce important literary work which is now being recognized as such. The story of her early life in the south, her life in Harlem, and her later years make a great read. I loved this book.

Morris Johnson
Important look at an important American writer.  Nov 27, 2007
While Zora Neale Hurston was truly a great writer, she also did an amazing job of documenting her beloved Florida's history. Taking advantage of President Roosevelt's W.P.A. project and doing her best to get around Florida noting stories of black America that are still available to us today.

'Wrapped in Rainbows' does a terrific job of wrapping all of this plus her excursions to New York and her otherwise sad life in this very well written book. Good luck getting out of this book without a tear shed. I feel this is a must-read for anyone wanting to know the life of an author or of life in Florida during Zora's lifetime.

A side note: Something not mentioned in this book or anything else I've read about Zora is if she ever ran across her contemporary and, I feel Northern doppelganger, Dorothy Parker. Though both had different career milestones, both were also after certain career and personal goals that were never met and both were nearly the same age. This is something that really dogged me while reading the book and noticing the similarities. The big difference between the two is that Parker was a depressed sort and Zora did her best to keep looking up. As well we all should.
Very detailed.  Apr 1, 2007
This is a very good book on the life of Zora Neale Hurston. It is very detailed and written very well. If you are interested in the life of this famous author this is for you.
Felt Tip Pen - Zora  Oct 16, 2004
Valerie Boyd blew breath into Zora Neale Hurston's remarkable accomplishments. I felt as if I was riding alongside Zora while Boyd narrated the different scenes;Zora was like a felt tip pen, as creative as could be. Of course, I wasn't ready to get off the ride, but I believe Zora lived a fulfilled life with little bumps and potholes or life lessons along the way.
The Best Biography I Have Ever Read  Aug 4, 2004
Valerie Boyd does what most biographers cannot; she makes facts as savory as fiction. As a great admirer of Zora Neale Hurston--the woman, I had long been searching for a piece of work that captures her emminence and vitality. I stumbled across "Wrapped in Rainbows" at Borders and resolved then and there that I HAD to have it. I do not at all regret this choice. Order this book, and I guarantee that it will be one of the best investments you ever make! The chapters on the Harlem Renaissance and Zora's involvment with it are magical, and the sections detailing Zora's friendship and eventual fued with Langston Hughes are fascinating. I can't say enough positive things about this biography. If you admire the spunky and talented Ms. Hurston, you will NOT be disappointed.

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