Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New stories by Zora Neale Hurston discovered

At The Chronicle of Higher Education:
The three stories are important because they provide fuller insight into Hurston's engagement with urban black life. They show us that Harlem was of more than just passing interest to the author, and ask us to dig deeper into the phase of her life before she became so identified with Eatonville. The first story we found is a different, somewhat funnier version of "Book of Harlem," with the subtitle "Chapter I.," suggesting that Hurston may have envisioned it as the beginning of a longer migration tale. The second story, "Monkey Junk: A Satire on Modern Divorce," adheres to mock-biblical storytelling to satirize urban divorce, with the duped husband going back to Alabama at the end. It closes with the exclamation "Selah," an equivalent of "Amen" or "so sayeth the Lord" from the Book of Psalms and an ending that Hurston also used as a tongue-in-cheek valediction in a 1927 letter in which she expressed hope for a large automobile.

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