“Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. My name is Eleanor Neale and my content ranges from true crime/unsolved mystery videos to makeup, to vlogs, to basically anything I choose to put out! During the nineteen-seventies, when “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was being rediscovered with high excitement, Janie Crawford was granted the status of “earliest . “It’s sort of duskin’ down dark,” observes the otherwise unexceptional Mrs. Sumpkins, checking the sky and issuing the local evening variant of rosy-fingered dawn. At her truest as a writer, Hurston was a musician. “The great difficulty lies in trying to transpose last night’s moment to a day which has no knowledge of it,” she writes in “Dust Tracks on a Road.” She concludes, “I have come to know by experience that work is the nearest thing to happiness that I can find.”. Apologies have been made for the difficulties of giving power and daring to a female character in 1936, but then Scarlett O’Hara didn’t fare too badly with the general public that year. For her, though, it was experience: it was not washing floors, it was going somewhere. It says something about the social complexity of the next few years that it was Wright who became a Book-of-the-Month Club favorite, while Hurston’s work went out of print and she nearly starved. There’s another man in a buggy waiting for Janie, and another unhappy marriage—this time to a bully who won’t let her join in the dazzling talk, the wildly spiralling stories, the earnest games of an Eatonville that Hurston raises up now like a darktown Camelot. Envy, fury, confusion, desire to escape: there is no wonder in it. But Zora Neale Hurston was the champ. Hurston was desperate for a success, and hoped for a movie sale—hence, no doubt, the formulaic rape and the book’s mawkish ending, in which Arvay learns to sing happily in her marital chains. In the spring of 1938, Zora Neale Hurston informed readers of the Saturday Review of Literature that Mr. Richard Wright’s first published book, “Uncle Tom’s Children,” was made up of four novellas set in a Dismal Swamp of race hatred, in which not a single act of understanding or sympathy occurred, and in which the white man was generally shot dead. In the fall of 1925, this ever-masquerading, newly glamorous Scott-within-Zelda of Lenox Avenue enrolled in school again—she had completed less than two years at Howard, and had finagled a scholarship out of Meyer—and discovered anthropology. Southern literature was filled with Negro portraits not so different from that of Bigger Thomas, the hero of Wright’s 1940 bombshell, “Native Son.” In the making of a revolution, all that had shifted was the author’s color and the blame.