I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... and Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader
The foundational, classic anthology that revived interest in the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God--"one of the greatest writers of our time"--and made her work widely available for a new generation of readers (Toni Morrison).
During her lifetime, Zora Neale Hurston was praised for her writing but condemned for her independence and audacity. Her work fell into obscurity until the 1970s, when Alice Walker rediscovered Hurston's unmarked grave and anthologized her writing in this groundbreaking collection for the Feminist Press.
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive established Hurston as an intellectual leader for future generations of black writers. A testament to the power and breadth of Hurston's oeuvre, this edition--newly reissued for the Feminist Press's fiftieth anniversary--features a new preface by Walker.
"Through Hurston, the soul of the black South gained one of its most articulate interpreters." --The New York Times
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About the Author
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was a writer and anthropologist originally from the South, who became a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston is the author of the classic novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, as well as countless other volumes of fiction, poetry, and scholarly nonfiction. Her nonfiction book Barracoon, about the transatlantic slave trade, was published posthumously in 2018.
Alice Walker is a poet, writer, and activist. She is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for The Color Purple, and author of multiple novels, short stories, children's books, essays, and poetry collections, including 2018's Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. Walker's works have been translated into more than two dozen languages worldwide.
Mary Helen Washington is Distinguished University Professor in the English Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor Washington specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century African American literature. She has edited several influential collections, including Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and About Black Women and Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women 1860-1960.
"One of the greatest writers of our time." --Toni Morrison
"Through Hurston, the soul of the black South gained one of its most articulate interpreters." --New York Times Book Review
"This well-made collection of her work . . . should give momentum to the rediscovery of Hurston as 'the intellectual and spiritual foremother of a generation of black women writers.'" --Washington Post Book Review
"I Love Myself . . . is a veritable trove of one of the most engaging and vital writers of the 21st century. Hurston's work is broad in scope while also embodying detail. Her creativity, drive to follow her curiosity, and tenacity in telling the truth can be seen in all of her work; this is a welcome new edition of one of the best collections of an author's writing out there." --LitHub
"This book may be one of the best 'starters' for reading Hurston because it includes excerpts of her novels, short stories, essays, reportage, and folktales." --Electric Literature