Confident, charismatic, and determined to be extraordinary, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote alongside such authors as Langston Hughes and Alain Locke during the Harlem Renaissance. And yet, as this illustrated biography for readers 10 to 13 reveals, Hurston was always short of money—despite writing such luminary works as Their Eyes Were Watching God—and took odd jobs as a housemaid, personal assistant, and teacher. Through it all, Zora kept writing, and though none of her books sold more than a thousand copies while she was alive, she was rediscovered a decade later by Alice Walker and a new generation of readers.
"This biography begins with Hurston as a middle-aged woman. Working as a maid to make ends meet, she is 'found out' and spins tales about both her age and the reasons behind her domestic servitude. This well-chosen episode succinctly captures the legendary author's colorful spirit—her mischievous penchant for lying about her age and ever cash-poor status, but undying desire to write and publish. These themes are threaded throughout the narrative, from her early childhood in all-black Eatonville, FL, through her tumultuous personal and professional life, to her death in near obscurity. The writing is straightforward and engaging, and the numerous archival photographs and reproductions add interest and clarification."—School Library Journal
"Again and again in the academic literature on Hurston, one finds some version of the puzzled question "Why does she seem so sensibly left-wing on some issues and so horrifically right-wing on others?" Libertarianism is so far off their radar that they don't even recognise that that's the best label for her. Hurston makes most sense when placed in conjunction with such other "Old Right" literary figures as H. L. Mencken, Isabel Paterson, Albert J. Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, Garet Garrett, and Ayn Rand—but their works are largely terra incognita in contemporary academia." Prof. Roderick Long.