Hitting A Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick

Hitting A Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick

Stories From the Harlem Renaissance

Book - 2020 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Featuring eight lesser-known stories, a collection of Harlem Renaissance tales by the revered folklorist and author of Their Eyes Were Watching God explores subjects ranging from class and migration to racism and sexism. 100,000 first printing.


From &;one of the greatest writers of our time&; (Toni Morrison)&;the author of Barracoon and Their Eyes Were Watching God&;a collection of remarkable stories, including eight &;lost&; Harlem Renaissance tales now available to a wide audience for the first time.

New York Times&; Books to Watch for
Buzzfeed&;s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
Newsweek&;s Most Anticipated Books
Forbes.com&;s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
E!&;s Top 2020 Books to Read
Glamour&;s Best Books 

In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston&;the sole black student at the college&;was living in New York, &;desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.&; During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nearly a century later, this singular talent is recognized as one of the most influential and revered American artists of the modern period.

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston&;s &;lost&; Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston&;s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer&;s voice and her contributions to America&;s literary traditions.

Publisher: New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062915795
Characteristics: xliii, 252 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 30, 2020

I found the introduction to this book by Genevieve West particularly helpful in helping me understand Huston’s growth as a writer. Although I struggled with the black dialect, it was a necessary part of the story. I found myself reading much of the conversation out loud to understand what was said. What Hurston did so adeptly was showing the sad side of love, how race and poverty puts people in positions that aren’t favorable to them. Hurston’s ability to observe people and then recreate them in short stories is evident. Yes, this wasn’t my favorite book, but it is an important book in helping me to understand how a writer’s talents are developed.

ArapahoeAlice Jan 10, 2020

Fascinating collection! These stories were written almost 100 years ago, yet they retain their power. The stories are set Eastonville, Florida where Hurston grew up. It was an all-black town where African Americans could live as they desired, independent of white society.
Hurston is known for using the dialect of that time. If you are puzzled by a sentence, read it out loud and it often becomes clear.
What I enjoyed most about the stories (which do have varying literary quality because some of them were written when she was quite young) is that Hurston beautifully captured the African-American culture of that time. She conducted anthropological and ethnographic research while she was a student at Barnard College and Columbia University, and her knowledge of black culture and folklore informs her stories.

Nov 12, 2019

wait for audio


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at JCLS

To Top