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Book Notes - Every Tongue Got To Confess (3)

Book Notes

From Publishers, Reviewers, and Authors

Title: Every Tongue Got To Confess

Author: Zora Neale Hurston

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: ISBN 0-06-018893-6

From Library Journal

Hurston (1891-1960) rises again with this delightful collection of authentic African American folklore gathered from 122 individuals during her travels in Florida, Alabama, and New Orleans in the late 1920s. Intended for publication in 1929, the manuscript found its way into the National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian, where it was rediscovered and authenticated in 1991.

Over 500 tales are presented as Hurston left them, in their vernacular dialect with no changes to grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, or dialect. A few of the tales appear among the 100 or so in Mules & Men (HarperCollins, 1990. reprint), but in contrast to that volume, in which Hurston contextualizes the tales and interjects her own personal experiences, this current collection offers isolated pieces organized within thematic groups (e.g., "God Tales" and "Mistaken Identity" tales).

There are no interpretations, just annotations of folk expressions and slang taken mostly from Hurston's previously published glossaries and footnotes. With this new collection, Hurston provides an even greater sense of the black oral tradition, which demands appreciation and admiration. Highly recommended for general reading and for folklore collections in academic and large public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/01.] Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, NJ

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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