Zora Neale Hurston was born today, in 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama. In honor of her birth, one of her most famous book Their Eyes Were Watching God is available FREE to the first 10,000 downloaders. The offer is being made through Libro.fm by the publisher of the ebook.
It’s hard to imagine a time when Hurston wasn’t the well known author she is today, topping many school reading lists. But when she died in 1960 she was broke and living in a state welfare home. She was buried in an unmarked grave until 1973 when some scholars did the research and went back and marked her grave.
The University of Florida has the collection of what remains of Zora Neale Hurston’s writings. It’s an amazing few shelves of paper as all of her papers were thrown in the fire after the order to burn her writings when she died. A friend of hers wound up saving them from the flames.
So grab your free copy of the audiobook today, while they’re still giving them out and think about all the stars that had to align to make this possible. Famed stage actress and civil rights voice Ruby Dee narrates this audiobook. I have not heard her yet, but Dee, who died in 2014, no doubt brings some real life awareness and urgency to the story. I’ve seen clips of Dee in the stage version of A Raisin in the Sun and can see just what a great fit she’d be as narrator.
Also, that cover for this copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God is pretty dang cool!