Yuval Taylor presents ZORA AND LANGSTON: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal

We are chuffed to welcome Yuval Taylor to the shop to discuss his new book Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal. Taylor will appear in conversation with Ethan Michaeli. A Q&A and book signing will follow the presentation.

About the book:

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.

About Yuval Taylor:

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 has edited three volumes of African American slave narratives, and his writings have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Guardian, and other publications. He lives in Chicago.

About Ethan Michaeli:

Ethan Michaeli is the author of “The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) praised by The New York Times as “a towering achievement that will not be soon forgotten.” Winner of the Best Non Fiction of 2016 prizes from the Chicago Writers Association as well as the Midland Authors Association, named as a Notable Book of 2016 by The New York Times, the Washington Post and, and to the short list of the Mark Lynton Prize.

Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393243918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Call to Confirm!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 26th, 2019

The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328470249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now, Please Call to Confirm!
Published: Mariner Books - March 6th, 2018

Event date: 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657
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