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Hitting A Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick

Hitting A Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick

Stories From the Harlem Renaissance

Book - 2020
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In 1925, Zora Neale Hurston was living in New York as a fledgling writer. This collection of stories, found in archives after her death, reveal African American folk culture in Harlem in the 1920s. This book includes eight of Hurston's "lost" Harlem gems


From Library Staff

Editor Genevieve West located the recovered stories in periodicals and as unpublished manuscripts, and the hallmarks of Hurston’s distinctive writing are on full display: her use of rural black dialect, the wickedly sly humor she finds in day-to-day life, the folkloric underpinnings of her many t... Read More »

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Dec 19, 2020

Good historic record and interesting stories.

Nov 26, 2020

I read Their Eyes Were Watching God and loved it, but I didn’t finish this collection. I think it was just me; I don’t think I read it with the aspiration to see Ms. Hurston develop as a writer, and I think that’s the point of the book. As I did enjoy TEWWG so much, I’ll try reading another one of her novels.

mko123 Sep 29, 2020

I really loved these short stories. They bring to life a cast of quirky, country folk based on Hurston's small home town. There is humor, double-dealing, raucous men and strong women.
The dialect is delightful, once you get the hang of it and the culture is so rich.

Feb 09, 2020

I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. This book of short stories is equally great. The preface and introduction gave a background to her writing. Although difficult at times to read the dialect, she gave a true voice and understanding of life amongst black Americans in that time period.

Jan 30, 2020

I found the introduction to this book by Genevieve West particularly helpful in helping me understand Huston’s growth as a writer. Although I struggled with the black dialect, it was a necessary part of the story. I found myself reading much of the conversation out loud to understand what was said. What Hurston did so adeptly was showing the sad side of love, how race and poverty puts people in positions that aren’t favorable to them. Hurston’s ability to observe people and then recreate them in short stories is evident. Yes, this wasn’t my favorite book, but it is an important book in helping me to understand how a writer’s talents are developed.

ArapahoeAlice Jan 10, 2020

Fascinating collection! These stories were written almost 100 years ago, yet they retain their power. The stories are set Eastonville, Florida where Hurston grew up. It was an all-black town where African Americans could live as they desired, independent of white society.
Hurston is known for using the dialect of that time. If you are puzzled by a sentence, read it out loud and it often becomes clear.
What I enjoyed most about the stories (which do have varying literary quality because some of them were written when she was quite young) is that Hurston beautifully captured the African-American culture of that time. She conducted anthropological and ethnographic research while she was a student at Barnard College and Columbia University, and her knowledge of black culture and folklore informs her stories.

Nov 12, 2019

neither library has audio, only ebooks, on new shelf as of 3/12/20


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