Friday, June 6, 2014
Mule Bone - Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes
This book is a sort of compendium that chronicles the history of a play, Mule Bone, that was written collaboratively by Hurston and Hughes - and then never produced, as the authors had a falling out that led to a lifelong feud. The book includes the most complete text of the play itself, as well as an introduction by George Houston Bass and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Hurston short story that inspired the play, correspondence concerning the play and the (forgive the pun) drama that surrounded it, and excerpts from Hughes' autobiographic account of the play, among other materials. It's a fascinating tale. I can't help thinking what a shame it is that two literary greats stopped collaborating and being friends. At least now we can read this play and the background and history and learn more about these talented writers.