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For the writer/anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, humor offered "a way out of no way, " helping African American culture survive the harsh realities of life. The humor in Hurston's writing was a vehicle for subversive observations on intolerable conditions, yet it also provided a joyous commentary on the paradoxically creative and exuberant folk culture of an oppressed people. John Lowe explores the comic elements of Hurston's fiction in the first book-length critical study to draw on her entire body of work. Tracing connections between Hurston's life and the cultural, historical, and literary events that affected her, Lowe reveals the sources of her humor and its serious purposes by using social science humor theory, American studies, feminist theory, Bakhtin, and close readings of Hurston's fiction, nonfiction, manuscripts, and letters. Lowe also shows how Hurston balanced her levity with a resonant cosmic language drawn largely from African and African American religious imagery.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780252066375
ISBN-10: 0252066375
Format: Paperback
(5817mm x 3887mm x 585mm)
Pages: 392
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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