Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xvi

Many people have supported and encouraged my work on this project. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to librarians, students, friends, fellow scholars, and family for their generosity through the years I was writing this book. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

On 6 July 1942, a ten-year-old boy accompanied his mother to a literary tea at the Castle Warden, a posh segregated hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. The boy, Donald Wilson, had been born to privilege and was used to mingling among St. Augustine’s elite white society. ...

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1. "Friendship is a mysterious and ocean-bottom thing": The Hurston-Rawlings Friendship

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pp. 15-41

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings first acknowledged Zora Neale Hurston’s existence a few years before they met, as early as 1939. Rawlings had been reading Hurston’s books, and she mentions her name in a lecture titled “Regional Literature of the South” that she delivered at the annual luncheon of the National Council ...

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2. “Thinking in heirogliphics”: Mastering the Craft of Writing

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pp. 42-99

Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote books that celebrated small central Florida villages that were about eighty miles apart. Eatonville is located in Orlando, next door to the mainly upscale, small towns of Maitland and Winter Park, and is noted for being the first incorporated all-black community, founded in 1887. ...

Images

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pp. 100-114

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3. Looking Back: Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road and Rawlings’s Cross Creek

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pp. 115-157

After Hurston and Rawlings wrote their great American novels in the 1930s and succeeded in channeling their voices into stories that captured the attention of both the public and critics, they had difficulty switching genres from novels to their autobiographies, Dust Tracks on a Road and Cross Creek, both published in 1942. ...

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4. The Road Ahead: Hurston’s and Rawlings’s Last Works

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pp. 158-182

The 1940s were a time of terrible troubles for both Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. After the success of their Eatonville and Cross Creek works in the 1930s, both women turned away from their original source material in search of new ways to define themselves as writers and as human beings. ...

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Afterword

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pp. 183-186

Time ran out for both Hurston and Rawlings. Hurston was seeking to expand her vision of the world outward by studying King Herod and the dawn of civilization. Rawlings, too, had outgrown her Cross Creek mentality, perhaps as a result of the devastating “invasion of privacy” trial. Her vision turned more inward, as she explored the demons inside ...

Works Cited

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pp. 187-192

Index

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pp. 193-198

About the Author

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pp. 199-199