Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale HurstonTold in gutsy language...her story is an encouraging and enjoyable one for any member of the human race. — N.Y. Review of Books.
First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurstons candid, funny, bold and poignant autobiography, an imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurstons very personal literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life–public and private–of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler, and champion of the black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed hight, Dust Tracks on a Road is a rare treasure from one of literatures most cherished voices.
Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography
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It begins with Hurston's childhood in the black community of Eatonville, Florida , then covers her education at Howard University where she began as a fiction writer, having two stories published under the guidance of Charles S. It also covers her anthropological work under Franz Boas that led to her study Mules and Men The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature says "its factual information is often unreliable, its politics are contradictory, and it barely discusses Hurston's literary career". The publishers forced extensive changes on the book, making Hurston remove a lengthy attack on American imperialism in Asia; she was also required to tone down sexually-explicit anthropological content and remove some libellous passages. More recent editions have attempted to insert deleted passages and reconstruct it closer to Hurston's intentions. It received more negative criticism than most of her other works: Robert Hemenway said it "probably harmed Hurston's reputation" and Alice Walker , otherwise an admirer, was also critical.
Like the dead-seeming, cold rocks, I have memories within that came out of the material that went to make me. Time and place have had their say. So you will have to know something about the time and place where I came from, in order that you may interpret the incidents and directions of my life. I was born in a Negro town. I do not mean by that the black back-side of an average town.