Zora Neale Hurston’s “Barracoon” to be published in 2018


Paula Rogo (Essence) writes that a new book by the legendary Zora Neale Hurston will be out Spring 2018, according to the Harper Collins website. The publisher announced that they would be releasing the unpublished manuscript of Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”—a story about the last known survivor of the slave trade who was illegally smuggled from Africa on the last slave ship to the U.S. Barracoon will be out May 8, 2018. [Although this book centers on the U.S., the Middle Passage involves us all; Zora Neale Hurston’s research in Haiti, Jamaica, and Honduras, for example, underlines this shared history.]

The book is based on the Their Eyes Were Watching God author’s many interviews with Cudjo, a survivor of the slave trade who was able to speak to her about his “capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.” She spent months at time in Cudjo’s hometown of Plateau, Alabama interviewing him in the late ’20s and early ’30s.

“During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilde, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War,” the Harper Collins website says. [. . .]

For full article, see https://www.essence.com/culture/new-novel-zora-neale-hurston-barracoon-2018

Also see https://www.harpercollins.com/cr-100072/zora-neale-hurston

[Photo above by Carl Van Vechten.]

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