Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Ten books that were almost lost to history

Michael Zapata is a founding editor of the award-winning MAKE Literary Magazine. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has lived in New Orleans, Italy, and Ecuador. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.

Zapata's new novel is The Lost Book of Adana Moreau.

At Electric Lit he tagged "ten works of literature that were lost and then saved by a hair," including:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Not a nearly lost work of literature so much as a tragically forgotten one, Hurston’s achingly lovelorn, once-controversial novel was almost pushed to the dustbins of literary history before being rediscovered and praised in the 1970s and 1980s by luminary and rebellious writers like Audre Lorde and Alice Walker. This makes perfect sense as the self-determination of Hurston’s heroine is nothing less than radical and was decades ahead of its time.
Read about another entry on the list.

Their Eyes Were Watching God also appears among Yann Martel's five favorite books and Benjamin Obler's top ten fictional coffee scenes in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue