Our Girl Zora

Lately, I’ve been waxing particularly dorky and reading college textbooks I pick up at Goodwill for one whole dollar. One such book is 50 Essays, fifty fantastic pieces by all those writers you’ve heard of, but maybe haven’t read. And that, my friends, is how I discovered Zora Neale Hurston, 60 years after everyone else.If you don’t know her yet, prepare to feverishly flip through your library’s online catalog.

Some awesome things she’s said:

I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all
the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows,
with a harp and sword in my hands.

It seems to me that trying to live without friends is
like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole
lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does
not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves
the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.

Isn’t she fantastic?  Who are your favorite lady writers?


Stefan, Sarah and Lukka

ha! I love that last one…and I think like that, too. 😉

I read a book of hers in high school, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and loved it. As an English major, though, I don't believe I read anything else of hers through college. Surprising.
Sarah M

Sjogrens Style

Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of my very favorite books. In it, Hurston blends standard English and AAVE in a way that celebrates the beauty and distinct power of both. Plus, she has an incredible life story; she reached shocking heights and depths. I was so happy to see you feature her today!

katie d.

LOVE HER. If you love her, you will love the poetry of Lucille Clifton. She was a HUGE discovery for me. I love "Wishes for Sons," "Listen Children," and "Note, Passed to Superman." Among a MILLION others. I also love Margaret Atwood and recently have fallen in love with Anne Lamott and am greedily reading everything she's ever written.


Wow, thanks for posting this! I need to rush off and get some research in I think! My favourite quote listed is the last one as well- really fantastic 🙂


Haha, I'm actually studying Zora in one of my classes right now. That last quote is one of my absolute favorites.

Maureen Hayes

I was introduced to her in college and have loved her since! I agree with everyone else who commented on Their Eyes Were Watching God, terrific book! So glad you are bringing her to the attention of the world through this post.


Zora Neale Hurston is amazing. She's actually cited as a big influence on my favourite female writer, Alice Walker. And of course, you cannot beat a bit of Charlotte Bronte.

Lauren Michelle

Oh, I love Zora. She has an incredible story. You need to read Their Eyes Were Watching God. That book is so amazing, and the movie with Halle Berry is pretty good, too.


How wonderful! I especially like the one about how living without friends is like milking a bear.

As far as women writers go, I love Joan Didion and Canadian Poet Anne Carson.

Shen Dove

Zora is one of my favorite authors! How appropriate that you posted about her on March 8th which was my birthday : )

I went through a Harlem Renaissance phase as a teen and read her books.


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