Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story by Peter Bagge, 104 pages

In this short graphic biography, Bagge attempts to tell the life story of Zora Neale Hurston, from her youth in Eatonville, Florida, through her writing career and multiple anthropological trips to the Caribbean, to her late-life decline. While he succeeds in hitting the main points, Fire!! doesn't really do service to the multifaceted life that Hurston led; this is more of a montage than a biography. That said, Bagge does provide a lot of background information in the notes at the end of the book, which is well worth reading. So this is a good jumping-off point for those who know nothing about Hurston, but by no means an endpoint.

(Also: I was sad to see Hurston wearing the same simple outfit and hat throughout the book. She was well known for her love of audacious hats and clothing, which Bagge mentions in his foreword, before announcing his decision to keep her style simple so as to not distract from the overall story. Smart choice, but still sad.)

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