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Portrait of Zora Neale Hurston

Source: Donaldson Collection / Getty

Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most revered writers of the Harlem Renaissance and decades after her death her literary work continues to be rediscovered.  HarperCollins subsidiary, Amistad Books, will be releasing more of the late author’s work at the top of next year.

According to VIBE, Hitting A Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick will consist of writings about racism, love, gender, sexism, migration and classism as well as eight short stories that were found on archives. The work will also showcase Neale Hurston’s “biting, satiric humor.” It will be released January 14, 2020, a week after her 129th birthday.

This isn’t the first lost work of hers to be published. Last May, Neale Hurston’s account of the last known slave ship survivor Oluale Kossula was published and was titled Barracoon: The Story of Last Black Cargo. Common acquired the rights to the book later that year with plans to make it into a limited television series.

Neale Hurston was born and raised in Nostaluga, AL and worked as a maid and waitress before she left to attend Howard University. After graduating with an associate’s degree in 1920, she traveled to New York City to continue her education at Barnard College where she was the only black student. For three decades, she published countless literary works and became one of the most prolific writers of the Harlem Renaissance. She disappeared from the spotlight during the 1950’s and fell upon hard times and poor health. In her last years she put down her pen and worked as a maid. She died in 1960 of heart disease in a county welfare home and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Negro Cemetery of Ft. Pierce, FL.

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