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Zora Neal Hurston was the most widely-read and arguably the most significant female author of the Harlem Renaissance. She published several novels, including Their Eyes Were Watching God, her most famous work, and many short stories, many of which explored themes common to black culture. Hurston was one of many Harlem Renaissance writers who sought to write (and, indeed, was asked by her publishers to write) in an authentically and uniquely black voice rather than copying the conventions of white literature. Hurston, whohad received some formal training in anthropology under the famous Columbia University anthropologist Franz Boas, held a lifelong fascination for southern black folklore, and its themes can be found throughout her works. Indeed, she compiled multiple volumes of black folk tales, including Mules and Men and Tell My Horse. So her enduring significance lies in her commitment, shared with many of her contemporaries, to gain recognition for African-American culture.
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