Jump at the Sun


3.75 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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For the writer/anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, humor offered "a way out of no way, " helping African American culture survive the harsh realities of life. The humor in Hurston's writing was a vehicle for subversive observations on intolerable conditions, yet it also provided a joyous commentary on the paradoxically creative and exuberant folk culture of an oppressed people. John Lowe explores the comic elements of Hurston's fiction in the first book-length critical study to draw on her entire body of work. Tracing connections between Hurston's life and the cultural, historical, and literary events that affected her, Lowe reveals the sources of her humor and its serious purposes by using social science humor theory, American studies, feminist theory, Bakhtin, and close readings of Hurston's fiction, nonfiction, manuscripts, and letters. Lowe also shows how Hurston balanced her levity with a resonant cosmic language drawn largely from African and African American religious imagery.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 392 pages
  • 152.1 x 226.3 x 21.3mm | 547.41g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252066375
  • 9780252066375

Back cover copy

'Impressive....Traces the multi-faceted influences of Hurston's concept of comedy from its origins, especially in African-American humor, in other cultural sources, and in her particular world view.'--Kathryn Seidel, Mississippi Quarterlyshow more

Review quote

"Brilliantly explores the comic elements of Zora Neale Hurston's fiction in the first book-length study to draw on her entire body of work." -- AFRAM Newsletter. "The most important booklength contribution to Hurston scholarship since Robert Hemenway published his biography in 1978." -- Will Brantley, Contemporary Literatureshow more

Rating details

4 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 25% (1)
3 50% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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