Gavilan College Library

ENG 1B Composition and Literature
Zora Neale Hurston

Reference Collection in the Library

You can find Zora Neale Hurston in several sections of the reference collection:

  • the C section will have biographies of her,
  • the E section, covering American history, will include articles about her,
  • the P section, covering literature, will contain literary criticism and articles about her work.

Current Biography REF CT 100 C8
Look in the 1942 volume of this set. This biographical sketch was written in the year 1942, probably at the height of her popularity.
Dictionary of American Biography, Supp. 6, and
American National Biography, Vol. 11
REF E176 D563 and
REF CT213 A68 1999
These 2 sets of biographical information about famous Americans vary widely in their coverage. The earlier one, the Dictionary of American Biography, conspicuously left out minorities and women, or covered them in inferior ways. The newer one, the American National Biography, supposedly corrects these oversights. Hurston is included in both, but the tone of the two articles is very different.
African American Almanac REF E185 P55 1994
Look in the index under Hurston for a list of pages that mention Hurston (813, 815 and 834). On page 834 you'll find a short biography of Hurston. Pages 813 & 815 talk about her part in the Harlem Renaissance.
Black Women in America REF E185.86 B542 1993
Volume 1, page 598 for a brief biography and description of her work.
Contemporary Literary Criticism REF PN94 R56
This is a collection of literary criticism. Each entry starts with a short biography of the writer, then gives long excerpts from reviews published in journals and books. To find an author, look in the author index in the back of the latest volume. Entries for Hurston are published in Volumes 7, 30 and 61, each entry covering different works and different time periods.
Women Writers in
the United States
REF PS147 DF38 1996
This reference book tries to place the writings in the social context of life in the United States at the time of publication. Look in the index at the back of the book. Entries for authors are followed by the letter T (for texts) or C (for contexts). Turn to the page number listed, and find the entry in the T or C columns.
Several other reference books can be found in this area, such as:

  • American Writers
          REF PS129 A55 Supp 6
  • American Ethnic Writers
          REF PS153 M56 A414 2000 (Vol 1)
  • Oxford Companion to African American Literature
          REF PS153 N5 O96 1997
  • African American Writers
          REF PS153 N5 A344 1991

All these sources have entries for Zora Neale Hurston, and you can find more by scanning the shelves in this literature area. If you have any problems, please see the reference librarian.

Internet Sites
Hurston, Zora NealeThe Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress present a selection of ten plays written by Hurston (1891-1960), author, anthropologist, and folklorist. Deposited in the United States Copyright Office between 1925 and 1944, most of the plays remained unpublished and unproduced until they were rediscovered in the Copyright Deposit Drama Collection in 1997. The plays reflect Hurston's life experience, travels, and research, especially her study of folklore in the African-American South. Totaling seven hundred images, the scripts are housed in the Library's Manuscript, Music, and Rare Books and Special Collections Divisions.
A Celebration of Women WritersThis site acknowledges the contributions of women writers throughout history. It includes authors of novels, poems, letters, biographies, travel books, religiouscommentaries, histories, economic and scientific works.
Voices from the GapsThis site focuses on women writers of color. It provides biographies, criticism, bibliographies and related links
Online Literary Criticism CollectionThis is another Internet Public Library site with links to over 4,000 critical and biographical websites about authors and their works.


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Last updated on May 19, 2004.
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