Review by Choice Review
This study is not about the social forms or verbal qualities of Zora Neale Hurston's fiction, as one might think, but about her "career as dramatist and performing artist." Like Deborah Plant, in her philosophical Every Tub Must Sit on Its Own Bottom (CH, May'96), Hill (Temple Univ.) uses Hurston's work as folklorist; but Hill uses it to probe issues of black mimicry and originality, of imitation itself and its corollary authenticity (that is, what is authentically black itself and what is theatrical subject matter). The author also carefully examines Hurston's fascination with voodoo in order to understand her word magic as part of ritual action. The first five chapters provide context for her theater work and for the final chapter's review of the 1991 staging of Mule Bone, which Hurston wrote with Langston Hughes in 1931, and of other plays by and about Hurston. These highly detailed studies offer valuable insights into Hurston's idea of theater and the contexts in which she worked. Notes, appendixed selections of several Hurston essays, and theater photographs round out this book, which seeks to create a basis for African American cultural performance. General readers; upper-division undergraduates; graduate students. B. E. McCarthy College of the Holy Cross
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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