Zora and Me

Zora and Me

By Victoria Bond; T. R. Simon

Candlewick Press (MA), Paperback, 9780763658144, 170pp.

Publication Date: December 27, 2011

Winner of the 2011 John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award
Racial duplicity threatens an idyllic African American community in the turn-of-the-century South in a dazzling debut inspired by the early life of Zora Neale Hurston.
Whether she's telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after young Zora's tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora's best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

About the Author
Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon met ten years ago while working together in publishing and became fast friends. Both of them are fascinated with place and belonging, and both are ardent fans of Zora Neale Hurston. So when the idea to collaborate on a book about Zora Neale Hurston s childhood arose, they didn t hesitate to dive right in. Hurston s life as both field anthropologist and writer also custom-fit their own backgrounds: T.R. Simon has an MA in anthropology, while Victoria Bond holds an MFA in creative writing.