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Book Wrapped in Rainbows: the Life of Zora Neale Hurston

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Wrapped in Rainbows: the Life of Zora Neale Hurston

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Wrapped in Rainbows: the Life of Zora Neale Hurston.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Valerie Boyd(Author),Illus. with photos(Illustrator)

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Review Text

  • By A customer on January 31, 2003

    Valerie Boyd has written an incredible biography of an amazing life. Before reading Wrapped in Rainbows, I considered myself pretty knowledgeable about Zora Neale Hurston. I had read Hurston's autobiography, Robert Hemenway's biography, several of Hurston's books, and various articles about her work. However, Boyd's book gave me a deeper understanding of Hurston than I would have thought possible. Boyd's meticulous research and insightful analysis bring the places and times of Hurston's life into detailed focus. This gives a rich backdrop to the events of Hurston's life and helps clarify her actions. This is the job of any good biographer.What makes Boyd a great biographer is her ability to get inside Hurston's skin so that the reader experiences the complexities of her great life. Many people view Hurston's life as tragic. She was a wonderful writer and champion of the "folk," yet she died in poverty--with all of her books out of print--and was buried in an unmarked grave. Boyd skillfully takes us on the journey of Hurston's life--through her successes and failures, her accolades and obscurity, her dreams and realities. I felt the passion and conviction and courage Hurston must have called on to accomplish what she did despite the challenges she faced. When I finished the book, I cried--not because Hurston's life was tragic, but because of the wonder of the Wrapped in Rainbows experience. Boyd's poetic writing was a joy to read. The beauty of her writing was breathtaking at times. Perhaps more significantly, through it, I identified with Hurston more than I ever had before and felt the supreme contentment of a life well lived.

  • By A customer on January 11, 2003

    Valarie Boyd's insightful biography of the great Zora Neal Hurston flows wonderfully like butter. I commend the spirited and authoritative nature in which Boyd absorbed and accessed Hurstons' professional scholarship; while simultaneously deciphering her often-riddled autobiographical timeline. Boyd has enormously widened the scope of understanding into the trailblazing life of a powerful literary goddess.

  • By A customer on February 25, 2003

    Wrapped in Rainbows sends us back but forwards in the description of one full life rocketed from north Florida to New York to the Islands to New Orleans and never stopping much to pause for one single breath of why but only how she was tornadic action and called Zora Neale Hurston and she was so proud and beguiling and she left me at 9:21pm on the 27th day of January in mourning for more life and more Nora as the last page stopped.There will be no return to ordinary folk after you have read this fine tribute to such a driven figure, only to most an imagination and to a few a beacon light for self belief.

  • By Hector Carbajal on February 13, 2004

    Valerie Boyd has given us a brilliantly balanced portrait of Hurston as writer, folklorist, intellectual and human being. Given her research from interviews and published sources, Boyd weaves her narrative with quotes and analysis that gives insight into the life of a rather complex historical figure. So much insight allows readers to conclude that Hurston deserves to be canonized for having survived many tragic and important events relative to her personal history and American history in general. Hurston was a controversial figure in her time and Boyd generously provides evidence why readers should understand her from a historical and political perspective.The friendship sparked between Hurston and Hughes--and its demise--is very a interesting chapter in Hurston's life. Boyd has readers wanting a reconciliation because, as Boyd declares, their friendship was one that was perhaps the greatest in American literature. Boyd is careful not to dismiss Hughes but elevate him in balance with Hurston's creative accomplishments during and after the Harlem Renaissance.This book is a wonderful addition to reading Hurston's "Dust Tracks..." and "Mules and Men." Hurston fans will love this book for its emotional intensity. Scholars will get a fair insight and a generous dose of the humanity added to her intellectual accomplishments summing up Hurston as a true legend in American literature, African American literature and Women's Literature.What is missing from this book? I would have liked to have read a bit about Langston Hughes' sexuality. However, such an issue would certainly border on the line of gossip. In any case, the issue proves irrelevant in this book.Certainly the question about what parts of her life Hurston might have concealed from her own biography is important in this book. Boyd certainly has filled in the gaps as to the how and the why of several episodes in Hurston's life. What were Hurston's relationships with editors? What was the state of the publishing industry during Hurston's time? What fed Hurston's struggle for money even as a successful writer? Why does Hurston continue to matter? All these questions are answered and more.In sum, Boyd's book defines the careful balance of emotion and scholarly research that paints a portrait of a truly historical figure who has defined culture like no other. Simply said, without Zora, there would be no Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, bell hooks or Maya Angelou.

  • By WriteEnglish on October 10, 2013

    This is a very comprehensive look at Hurston's life. It is well researched and contains a countless number of facts. The problem I have is that it is very long and very detailed and is difficult to finish. I much prefer biographies that are a bit more focused and less comprehensive.

  • By Leticia A. Pugh "Tish" on October 16, 2004

    Valerie Boyd blew breath into Zora Neale Hurston's remarkable accomplishments. I felt as if I was riding alongside Zora while Boyd narrated the different scenes;Zora was like a felt tip pen, as creative as could be. Of course, I wasn't ready to get off the ride, but I believe Zora lived a fulfilled life with little bumps and potholes or life lessons along the way.


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