Details
HURSTON, Zora Neale (1891-1960). Their Eyes Were Watching God. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, [1937].

First edition in rare dust jacket, presentation copy for Hattie McDaniel, inscribed and signed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To Hattie McDaniel, A beautiful throne angel on the right-hand side. Deeply reverent, Zora Neale Hurston." Both Hurston and McDaniel were daughters of Baptist ministers.

This is an exceptional copy of Zora Neale Hurston's most influential novel. Not only is it an extremely rare first edition in a complete dust jacket, but it is warmly inscribed for Hattie McDaniel. McDaniel had just begun her acting career in Los Angeles when Hurston's book was published, but she was soon to be cast in her most famous role of "Mammy" in Gone With the Wind, a role which earned her the first Oscar™ awarded to an African-American actor. Ironically, Margaret Mitchell's novel was published just the year before Their Eyes Were Watching God, but the two tangled love stories had very different fates. Zora Neale Hurston's work and scholarship, though prominent among the cognoscenti of the Harlem Renaissance, did not find its current wide readership and acclaim until it was promoted by Alice Walker in the 1970s. First editions of any of her novels are correspondingly rare.

Octavo. Original patterned cloth; pictorial dust jacket (price-clipped, light rubbing, tiny holes at spine panel ends and corners of flap folds). Provenance: Hattie McDaniel, actor, 1893-1952 (presentation inscription).
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