Zora Neale Hurston

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Why did Zora Neale Hurston's work gain more fame after her death?

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Zora Neale Hurston was widely known as a writer and political activist during the Harlem Renaissance. However, there were many things that contributed to her lack of success during her lifetime. One was that people were disturbed by the way she represented dialogue in her writing. She tried her best to show a direct an accurate picture of African American slang, and this was a very controversial idea, considered to be politically incorrect by most. Additionally, there was a scandal concerning eventually disproved allegations of Hurston molesting a child, and other people who published some unpopular opinions Hurston had concerning Brown v. Board of Education.

After Hurston died, writer Alice Walker was the main catalyst for causng new editions of her work to be printed and new interest generated in her writing. Some of Hurston's writing, such as a folk tale collection entitled Every Tongue Got to Tell,  was not found and published until decades after her death.

Hurston is now celebrated by a festival named after her, a national museum in her house,  and induction into the New York and Alabama halls of fame for writers. Her work is honored by writers, scholars, and critics, and read in schools all over the world.

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