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NYS Writers Institute, May 4, 2007
2:00 Discussion | Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland
7:00 Film Screening and Commentary of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"| Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtoan Campus


Lucy Anne Hurston, niece of major 20th century writer Zora Neale Hurston and Professor of Sociology at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, is the author of the remarkable multimedia biography, "Speak, So You Can Speak Again: A Life of Zora Neale Hurston" (2004). The work consists of text, photographs, a CD of Zora herself speaking and singing, and various pieces of removable memorabilia, including letters, maps, vintage magazine articles, and rough drafts of Zora's poems.

Speak, So You Can Speak Again"a marvelous multi-media introduction to one of the most celebrated American writers of the 20th century." - "Publishers Weekly"

"The text is a cogent and spirited conjuring of Hurston's vibrant personality and estimation of her work's place and importance, but the incredible illustrative matter is the real draw and what makes the book so amazing." - "Booklist" (starred review)

At 2:00 p.m. in the Guilderland Public Library Lucy Anne Hurston will discuss Zora Neale Hurston's work and her biography as part of the Upper Hudson Library System's "The Big Read," a project that encourages every member of the Capital Region to read a single book. Zora Neale Hurston's novel, "Their Eyes Were Watching God," is the chosen book for the event. "The Big Read" is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

Their Eyes Were Watching GodIn the evening Lucy Anne Hurston will provide film commentary and answer questions immediately following the 7:00 p.m. screening of THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (United States, 2005, 98 minutes, color, DVD) in Page Hall on the UAlbany downtown campus. Based on Zora Neale Hurston's classic novel, and adapted by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD was produced for ABC television by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films. Halle Berry plays the free-spirited Janie, a woman whose quest for love and a meaningful life challenges the morals of a small American town in the 1920s. The film was directed by Darnell Martin, and also stars Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Michael Ealy.
Kevin's Film Notes

Zora Neale Hurston was a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, travel writer, and leading scholar of African American folklore. By the 1940s her work had slid into obscurity. She died in poverty and was buried in an unmarked grave in 1960. Alice Walker is credited with reviving widespread public interest in Hurston, beginning with a 1975 "Ms. Magazine" article, "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston." Hurston's work is now considered one of the cornerstones of American literature, and is required reading in high schools and colleges throughout the country.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.