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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography - Zora Neale Hurston "There is something wonderful to behold just ahead. Let's go see what it is." - Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road

I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book as I’ve read about the tragedies Zora Neale Hurston experienced in her life. This, however, turned out to be one of the most marvelous autobiographies I have ever read and more inspirational than discouraging.

I loved reading about Hurston’s childhood; she was such a precocious and inquisitive child who could easily have been stifled creatively by the culture she lived in, a culture and society that did not encourage book-reading or learning, yet found ways to grow her creativity and imagination.

Her adventures and experiences as an adult were also interesting. I loved her opinionated, unapologetic personality. Her ideas about race and religion were probably considered radical in those days; she was definitely way ahead of her time.

And her writing, wow! She was adept at writing using different literary styles and idiomatic expressions, and she also respected the Southern dialect and people, therefore her understanding for the need of their different linguistic expression came across clearly in her writing and thought process. Her writing is also witty and she's also a wonderful storyteller. Her autobiography has several stories and folktales included. Also, she dislikes math as much as I do, as is evidenced by the following quote: "I did not do well in mathematics. Why should A minus B? Who the devil was X anyway?" I concur!

Her anthropology background and her positive experiences with white people made her see people beyond the veil of race, and instead just see the person. I thought that was wonderful.

I would unquestionably invite Zora Neale Hurston to my fantasy literary dinner party. She’s definitely inspirational.

"My search for knowledge of things took me into many strange places and adventures."- Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road