Jonah's Gourd Vine: A Novel (Paperback)
A story of love and community, written by the hand of Zora Neale Hurston, one of the 20th century’s greatest authors, and a woman who truly understands her characters’ motivations. This modern classic edition of Jonah's Gourd Vine features an updated cover and a P.S. section which includes insights, interviews, and more.
Jonah's Gourd Vine, Zora Neale Hurston’s first novel, originally published in 1934, tells the story of John Buddy Pearson, “a living exultation” of a young man who loves too many women for his own good. Lucy, his long-suffering wife, is his true love, but there’s also Mehaly and Big ‘Oman and the scheming Hattie who conjures hoodoo spells to ensure his attentions. Even after becoming the popular pastor of Zion Hope where his sermons and prayers for cleansing rouse the congregation’s fervor, he has to confess that though he is a preacher on Sundays, he is a “natchel man” the rest of the week.
And so in this sympathetic portrait of a man and his community, shows that faith and tolerance and good intentions cannot resolve the tension between the spiritual and the physical. That Zora Neale Hurston makes this age-old dilemma come so alive is a tribute to her understanding of the vagaries of human nature.
Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist. She wrote four novels (Jonah’s Gourd Vine, 1934; Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937; Moses, Man of the Mountains, 1939; and Seraph on the Suwanee, 1948); two books of folklore (Mules and Men, 1935, and Every Tongue Got to Confess, 2001); a work of anthropological research, (Tell My Horse, 1938); an autobiography (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942); an international bestselling nonfiction work (Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” 2018); and over fifty short stories, essays, and plays. She attended Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University and was a graduate of Barnard College in 1928. She was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and grew up in Eatonville, Florida.