Erin's Reviews > Dust Tracks on a Road

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
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Sep 29, 07

bookshelves: favorites, grad-school, african-american
Recommended for: Zora fans, women, memoir fans
Read in February, 2001

Four years after writing Janie Mae’s journey in Their Eyes, Zora Neale Hurston was persuaded by her editor, J. B. Lippincott, to write her autobiography. The result was Dust Tracks on A Road, the partly fictionalized tale of a persona named Zora and her geographical, spiritual, and intellectual journey from Eatonville to New York and beyond. Their Eyes and Dust Tracks contain pronounced similarities in themes and in plot, and a comparison illuminates Hurston’s use of the journey motif. A restless desire to move and learn drives both Janie and Zora beyond the worlds that stifle them and toward the realization of their uncompromised, essential selves. The tenacity to seek new experiences and risk failure in increasingly more complex arenas comes naturally to both women. In Their Eyes, Janie defines herself by seeking her dream of fulfilling relationships. In Dust Tracks, Zora sees each person she encounters as a new stage in her journey, and she defines herself through the magnifying glass of these relationships. In each chapter of her autobiography, Hurston offers thoughts about the personal relationships she remembers, all of which serve to deepen her awareness of her skills, her needs, and herself.


"While I am still far below the allotted span of time, and notwithstanding, I feel that I have lived. I have the joy and pain of strong friendships. I have served and been served. I have made enemies of which I am not ashamed. I have been faithless, and then I have been faithful and steadfast until the blood ran down into my shoes…What waits for me in the future? I do not know. I cannot even imagine, and I am glad for that. But already, I have touched the four corners of the horizon, for from hard searching it seems to me that tears and laughter, love and hate, make up the sum of life."

--Dust Tracks on A Road, Zora Neale Hurston
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Quotes Erin Liked

Zora Neale Hurston
“I had hundreds of books under my skin already. Not selected reading, all of it. Some of it could be called trashy. I had been through Nick Carter, Horatio Alger, Bertha M. Clay and the whole slew of dime novelists in addition to some really constructive reading. I do not regret the trash. It has harmed me in no way. It was a help, because acquiring the reading habit early is the important thing. Taste and natural development will take care of the rest later on.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road

Zora Neale Hurston
“I don't know any more about the future than you do. I hope that it will be full of work, because I have come to know by experience that work is the nearest thing to happiness that I can find. . . I want a busy life, a just mind and a timely death.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road


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