When Pamala Bordelon was researching a work on the Florida Federal Writers Project, she discovered writings in the collection that were unmistakably from the hand of Zora Neale Hurston, one of the leading writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Over half of the works included here have not been published or are only available in the Library of America edition of Hurston's works. As Hurston's fans know, all of her novels draw upon her deep interest in folklore, particularly from her home state of Florida. Here we see the roots of that work, from the wonderful folktale of the monstrous alligator living in a local lake to her recording of folk songs to her work on children's games and the black church. There are also fiery and controversial essays on race and the work of black artists. In a biographical essay, Pamala Bordelon, with the help of Hurston's niece, has re-created the years during which Hurston was working for the FWP and living in Eatonville. She has put together the portrait of a serious writer and folklorist who was running tight on money, but big on spirit. This book is an important new addition to Hurston's work.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. In addition to her most celebrated work, the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston's books include The Six Fools, Lies and Other Tall Tales, The Skull Talks Back, and What's the Hurry, Fox?