Rejoice! We’re getting a new Zora Neale Hurston novel.

July 11, 2024, 12:56pm

This winter, our eyes will be watching the shelves. That’s right, people. A previously unpublished book from the late genius Zora Neale Hurston is coming out in 2025. That book will be released on January 7th, 2025to mark what would have been Hurston’s 134th birthday.

Here’s what we know: the novel, unfinished at the time of Hurston’s death, is a biblical epic concerning “first century BC Judea” and, one imagines, some critical fabulation. Called The Life of Herod The Great, the novel seeks to portray the much-maligned monarch “not as a villainous monster, but as a religious, philosophical, and adventurous man.” And considering Hurston’s chops as a humanist historian and anthropologist, this is all tremendously exciting.

Amistad is set to publish the manuscript, which has been seen by just a handful of scholars. Deborah Plant, a noted Hurston scholar, is the project’s chief advocate. Plant is also the mind behind another posthumously published Hurston book—the 2018 non-fiction masterwork, Barracoon:The Story of the Last Black Cargo. She will contextualize the new(ly unearthed) project with an introduction and an afterward.

Posthumous publications can be tricky, as we know. But given Barracoon‘s wild success, and Hurston’s undiminished brilliance, I am inclined to completist logic.

Mark your calendars!

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