by Deborah G. Plant
University of Illinois Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-252-02183-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3515.U789Z82 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52

     "Plant's study is sorely
        needed at this point in the evolving critical assessment of Hurston. It
        is a paradigm for the study of individual African American women writers."
        -- Alice Deck, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      In a ground-breaking study
        of Zora Neale Hurston, Deborah Plant takes issue with current notions
        of Hurston as a feminist and earlier impressions of her as an intellectual
        lightweight who disregarded serious issues of race in American culture.
        Instead, Plant calls Hurston a "writer of resistance" who challenged
        the politics of domination both in her life and in her work. One of the
        great geniuses of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston stands out as a strong
        voice for African-American women. Her anthropological inquiries as well
        as her evocative prose provide today's readers with a rich history of
        African American folk culture, a folk culture through which Hurston expressed
        her personal and political strategy of resistance and self-empowerment.
      Through readings of Hurston's
        fiction and autobiographical writings, Plant offers one of the first book-length
        discussions of Hurston's personal philosophy of individualism and self-preservation.
        From a discussion of Hurston's preacher father and influential mother,
        whose guiding philosophy is reflected in the title of this book, to the
        influence of Spinoza and Nietzsche, Plant puts into perspective the driving
        forces behind Hurston's powerful prose.
      This fresh look at one of
        the most important writers of the twentieth century is sure to shape future
        study of Hurston and her work.