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Zora and Langston

Nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   8.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/14/2019

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Zora and Langston

A Story of Friendship and Betrayal

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Audio CD ISBN:9781684418916
Digital Download ISBN:9781684418923


Zora and Langston is the dramatic and moving story of one of the most influential friendships in literature.

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Product Description

Zora and Langston is the dramatic and moving story of one of the most influential friendships in literature.

They were best friends. They were collaborators, literary gadflies, and champions of the common people. They were the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance. Zora Neale Hurston, the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Langston Hughes, the author of "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "Let America Be America Again," first met in 1925, at a great gathering of black and white literati, and they fascinated each other. They traveled together in Hurston's dilapidated car through the rural South collecting folklore, worked on the play Mule Bone, and wrote scores of loving letters. They even had the same patron: Charlotte Osgood Mason, a wealthy white woman who insisted on being called "Godmother."

Paying them lavishly while trying to control their work, Mason may have been the spark for their bitter and passionate falling-out. Was the split inevitable when Hughes decided to be financially independent of his patron? Was Hurston jealous of the young woman employed as their typist? Or was the rupture over the authorship of Mule Bone? Yuval Taylor answers these questions while illuminating Hurston's and Hughes's lives, work, competitiveness, and ambition, uncovering little-known details.


“Her [Bahni Turpin] pleasingly neutral tones for the narrative make the passages in which she voices the boisterous Hurston and the mercurial Hughes stand out in contrast.” —AudioFile Earphone Winner

“Taylor has created an intimate portrait of two luminaries of American literature against a backdrop of the cultural, political, and economic forces that influenced them.” —Booklist

“Taylor creates a perceptive portrait of the bizarre patron and of the Hurston-Hughes friendship. A fresh look at two important writers of the 1920s.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Highly readable and informative…Taylor paints a sympathetic but realistic portrait of these two complicated artists and convincingly shows that, together, they changed the course of African-American literature.” —Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Yuval Taylor, senior editor at Chicago Review Press, is the author of Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal and coauthor of Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop and Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music. He lives in Chicago.