Literary fans are in for a real treat!
Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most prolific writers of the Harlem Renaissance, will have a collection of “lost” stories published in a new collection by Harper Collins, The Root reports.
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is tapped as a new collection that includes 8 “lost” stories about the Harlem Renaissance that have been pulled from “forgotten periodicals and archives,” according to the publisher.
Harper Collins issued a synopsis on the collection saying, “These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world.”
Hurston was known as a scholar, writer and anthropologist. Through her work as a novelist, she was able to weave stories about the African American experience in a way that captivated audiences. Her folktales told the stories of Black heritage and traditions, helping to cement our experience in history, in perpetuity. The late Toni Morrison once referred to her as, “one of the greatest writers of our time.”
Hurston was born on January 7, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama, but she grew up in Eatonville, Florida. She wrote four novels, two books of folklore, one autobiography, and over fifty short stories, essays and plays. Hurston attended Howard University and went on to become Barnard College’s first Black graduate.
She passed away in Fort Pierce, Florida in 1960 at the age of 69. While Hurston was revered and respected as a writer, she wasn’t given the recognition she deserved until after her death. Coincidentally, before her passing she wrote a letter to W.E.B. Du Bois encouraging him to honor the ancestors by establishing a cemetery for influential African Americans. Her own grave went unmarked for four years until Alice Walker discovered it and purchased a headstone that read, “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.”
Just last year Hurston’s completed manuscript of Barracoon was finally published, 87 years after her publisher passed on the opportunity to share the story of the last Black cargo with the world. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick hits shelves January 14, 2020.