It’s likely many of you have read Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. I never had to read it for school, but I did read it on my own time several years ago and was totally engrossed in it. Now, fifty-eight years after her death, we are getting a new book from the famed Harlem Renaissance author.
Barracoon is the true story of Oluale Kossola, later named Cudjo Lewis, one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. In 1927 and again in 1931, Hurston traveled to Plateau, Alabama to talk with Lewis about his life: memories from his childhood in Africa, being captured and brought to the United States on a slave ship, and the years he spent as a slave prior to the end of the Civil War.
Image Via Indie Thinking
Hurston first tried to get the book published in 1931, but as you might imagine, the publishing industry at the time was not interested. Adding to this disinterest was the fact that Hurston wrote Lewis’s speech in dialect, which later became a signature characteristic of her writing.
While it is unfortunate that Zora Neale Hurston never got to see her book published in her own lifetime, at least we finally get to read this important and poignant work. Additionally, the book will include a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.
The book goes on sale tomorrow, May 8. You can order it here on Amazon.
Feature Image Via Biography.