Whilst focusing on the romantic relationships which Janie has throughout her life, the novel is primarily concerned with the experiences and identities of African-American women. There were mixed responses to the novel upon publication and the leading African-American writers, such as Richard Wright, were particularly critical, believing it to be akin to a minstrel show put on for white audiences.
Zora continued writing in the s and 50s with her last published novel being Seraph on the Suwannee. Her only novel concerned with white characters, it follows white working-class woman Arvay, who lives in a small town in Florida and explores the confines of her marriage.
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The novel was badly received and the publication in was overshadowed when Zora was accused of sexual molestation. Zora died in January at age 69 after suffering a stroke. She worked as a cleaner and a maid in her final years. As she received little royalties from her writing her neighbours in Fort Pierce, Florida took up a collection for her funeral but could not afford a headstone.
Zora Neale Hurston and Women Oppression, Inferiority and Mistreatment
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Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century. African Americans in literature. Folklore in literature. Hurston, Zora Neale.
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Gloria L Cronin. Critical essays on American literature. Print book : English View all editions and formats.