Skip to content
  • Google Doodle honors ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ author Zora Neale Hurston, luminary of the Harlem Renaissance

    New York Daily News - 01/07/2014

    Hurston, best known for her seminal novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” was born in Florida on Jan. 7, 1891, but she moved to New York in 1925 with only $1.50 to her name. She soon became friends with Langston Hughes and Dorothy West.

    Carla Kaplan, a professor of American Literature at Northeastern University and author of “Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters,” said the author and anthropologist would be “so tickled” to be praised in such a modern way.

    “She was a very private woman who loved publicity,” Kaplan said, adding that Hurston often found herself “wanting others to see that she had a glean or a shine.”

    Hurston’s life in Harlem was often stranger than fiction – the scribe once “borrowed” money from a homeless beggar for a subway fare, claiming she needed the money “worse than you today.” She died in poverty in a Florida welfare center in 1960.

    “She was always more interested in recognition than she was with money,” Kaplan said.