Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, Florida, where much of Janie Crawford’s story is set.
Hurston was never able to support herself with her writing so she died in a welfare hospital.
Prominent African American writers Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison condemned Hurston’s novel for its use of vernacular dialect, which they considered racist and unprofessional.
Zora Neale Hurston studied anthropology at Barnard College and conducted ethnographic research at Columbia University; this explains her fascination with the black vernacular.
Hurston was a fan of Booker T. Washington, unlike Mrs. Turner.