Theodore Pratt


For many years, when giving talks in Florida, I have pointed out that there is only one first-class native-born Florida author who has written any even small body of work about the state. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Philip Wylie, and all the others were born elsewhere and adopted the Florida scene. The exception was Zora Neale Hurston. Seldom, on inquiry, had any of the audiences ever heard of her or known any of her work. At that point I revealed to the white southern audiences that Zora was a Negro. As I announced this I looked around for the nearest exit. I never had to use the exit, and when I told this to Zora she roared with laughter.