An effective, imaginative blend of a straightforward biography of this noted African-American with Hurston's own words. Lyons traces Hurston through her controversial triumphs as writer and folklorist to her death in obscurity in 1960, frankly discussing the personality that generated many of the disputes that haunted Hurston as well as describing the barriers that confronted her. The book closes with Hurston's literary resurrection at the hands of Alice Walker and a summary of her place in literary and American history. Concluding each chapter, excerpts from Hurston's autobiography, folklore, and fiction extend the insights offered in this fascinating portrait. An excellent debut for Lyons. Bibliography; chapter notes, index, and b&w photos not seen.