Daily Archives for: October 3rd, 2019

Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston (1934)

Jonah’s Gourd Vine was the first novel by  Zora Neale Hurston (1891 – 1960), published in 1934. The central character is John Buddy Pearson, a Black plantation worker who aspires to be a preacher. Once he achieves his goal, he gives powerful sermons on Sundays, and the rest of the week indulges in extramarital dallying with the women of his congregation.

While studying with the noted anthropologist Franz Boas, Zora was recognized for her talent for storytelling and abiding interest in black cultures of the American South and Caribbean.

Her background as an anthropologist and folklorist was one of her great gifts, and what made her work, both fiction and nonfiction, so unique. She was already established in the field when this novel came out, as well as having published a number of short stories and nonfiction works. Read More→


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