Hurston's first book

Jonah's Gourd Vine.

Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co, 1934.

Price: $4,500.00

About the item

First edition. 316pp. 8vo. Hurston's first book. Publisher's cloth, stamped in black, with some rubbing around the bottom edge and corners, and sunning to spine and around the edges; text block is unmarked, overall near fine. American Dictionary of National Biography; The UCF Zora Neale Huston Digital Archive.

Item #352923

Hurston's first book, an autobiographical novel, tells the story of her father, John Hurston, as he and his wife migrate from Alabama to Eatonville, FL, the first all-Black incorporated town in America, where Zora Neale grew up. She published articles and short stories throughout the twenties and early thirties, worked on a play with Langston Hughes, but only one act was published, and they fell out over questions of authorship, and had completed sufficient anthropological work to complete her first book on African-American folklore, Mules and Men, which she would publish after this book. After reading her story "The Gilded Six–Bits" in Story magazine, Bert Lippincott wrote Hurston to enquire as to whether she might be working on a novel, and she replied – deceptively – that she was. She set about writing this novel, and completed it in nine weeks.

Carl Sandburg called it a "bold and beautiful book, many a page priceless and unforgettable."

A scarce book to find in nice shape.