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February 22, 1998
Miss Zora Neale Hurston
Ft Pierce, Florida
Dear Miss Hurs~ton:
Your letter was most welcome. I hope I don't let your
curiosity down, but my search for you began a year ago. I saw
something in a national "hate sheet" on you apparently a
~letter you wrote to the editor of an Orlando newspaper?
Anyway, it did express a turn of thought I: felt to be
uncommon in statement, and intriguing as to the personality.
I wanted to come and see you because during the summer
and at Christmastime I usually go to upper Florida (Jax). Mly
wife is a part Floridian and I love you people's climate
despite its occasional departures.
Then too, I have often thought of giving up "civilization"('?)
and"retiring"(.?) in a remote sub-tropical glade somewhere in
the land of flowers. My~ father was botn in M~arianna, which was
tr always repugnant to us in the sense it considered itself a
part of Florida,
Coming back to you.
Not too long ago I began researching in all the CRT~SIS
issues which are available in our feeble Library here. As I
entered the 30's your name became more frequent and your reviews -
again uncommon and intriguing.
From my own brief reading of your stories, I had enjoyed
them, but I had also felt theim to be too earthy. However, I
think practically all modern writers treat sex and other material
"goods" too subjectively. So, I didn't hold this against you
personally by any means. In fact I felt you handled your more
subjective descriptions with unusual realism.
About the only thing biographically I read was CUrRRENT~i
HISTORY'S 1942 sketch. That was where I got the Lippincott address.
For some reason I had assumed you had gone to Florida and
d started teaching. Is this true? One publisher suggests that
oumay have a new book in the offing. Wh~at is it about?
:From what I read of you I don't get the impression that
you are religious, yet, somehow, I believe that your love for God
is intense although you may not have yet found it fully requiting.
Yes, .1 would like for you to write a book on this.
there was any one reason I could tell you why I wanted
to contact you, other than just togsee you and hear your voice,
it would be to learn what you think it will take to save us?#
I do not mean all of us, I just mean us"N~egroes". I ask this
because it would appear from what I have read that naked Anna
de-seg does not excite you. I would assume you think it good
however, but not sufficient.
WJhat do you think is possible, probable and sugficient?
I ask this not that I dpn't. have any ideas of my own I simply
have become so attracted to so much in you that I would like to
hear from you on this!
With all of a brother's love,