Back Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

1891–1960
Zora Neale Hurston, 1938. (Van Vechten Collection at Library of Congress; public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
Excerpt from

Dust Tracks on a Road

Zora Neale Hurston

I wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in Haiti. It was dammed up in me, and I wrote it under internal pressure in seven weeks. I wish that I could write it again. In fact, I regret all of my books. It is one of the tragedies of life that one cannot have all the wisdom one is ever to possess in the beginning. Perhaps, it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself “Why?” afterwards than before. Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.

Read a passage from Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
Library of America
Curator

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More
Publisher

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.


Browse our books Subscribe
Non-Profit

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Support our mission