Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal (Hardback)Yuval Taylor (author)
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Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and Langston Hughes ("The Negro Speaks of Rivers", "Let America Be America Again") were collaborators, literary gadflies and close companions. They travelled together in Hurston's dilapidated car through the rural southern US collecting folklore, worked on the play Mule Bone and wrote scores of loving letters to each other. They even had the same patron: Charlotte Osgood Mason, a wealthy white woman who insisted on being called "Godmother".
Paying them lavishly while trying to control their work, Mason may have been the spark for their bitter falling-out. Yuval Taylor answers questions about their split while illuminating Hurston's and Hughes's lives, work, competitiveness and ambition.
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 244 x 163 x 30 mm
The extraordinary friendship between Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes produced one of the richest collaborations in American literature, though much of what they created never found its way to the public. Yuval Taylor digs deeply into the existing scholarship on both writers--and their times--to explore this unusual intimacy and the tragedy of its collapse. The story of their friendship returns us to the brilliant work of these writers. And it reminds us of all we have lost since these two American geniuses were forced to let each other go.--Carla Kaplan, author of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters and Miss Anne in Harlem
Highly readable and informative...Taylor paints a sympathetic but realistic portrait of these two complicated artists and convincingly shows that, together, they changed the course of African-American literature.
Taylor creates a perceptive portrait of the bizarre patron and of the Hurston-Hughes friendship. A fresh look at two important writers of the 1920s.
Taylor's new book provides details never before revealed of how both left indelible marks on American literature and each other.--Joanna Poncavage
Taylor has created an intimate portrait of two luminaries of American literature against a backdrop of the cultural, political, and economic forces that influenced them.
A highly readable account of one of the most compelling and consequential relationships in black literary history, and the time is ripe for this story to reach a new generation of readers.--Zinzi Clemmons
Writing in a vivid anecdotal style, Taylor's book carries readers along on the giddy, and ultimately, very bumpy ride...Let's focus, as Taylor so evocatively does, on the blossoming of the great friendship between an aspiring Hurston and Hughes, on the wide road opening up before them and on the gifts they shared with each other and with us.--Maureen Corrigan
A complete pleasure to read.--Lisa Page
Yuval Taylor presents a compelling, evenhanded account of the literary feud between celebrated African-American writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes...A fascinating and lively story.--Susan Van Atten
Compelling, concise and scrupulously researched.--Clifford Thompson