ABOUT THIS BOOK
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick examines the ways Zora Neale Hurston circumvented the constraints of the white publishing world and a predominantly white readership to critique white culture and its effects on the black community. A number of critics have concluded that Hurston simply capitulated to external demands, writing stories white people wanted to hear. Susan Edwards Meisenhelder, however, argues that Hurston’s response to her situation is much more sophisticated than her detractors recognized. Meisenhelder suggests, in fact, that Hurston’s work, both fictional and anthropological, constitutes an extended critique of the values of white culture and a rejection of white models for black people. Repeatedly, Hurston’s work shows the diverse effects that traditional white values, including class divisions and gender imbalances, have on blacks.