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With the publication of this text, Karla Holloway becomes the first to produce a book-length analysis of Hurston's use of language in her four major novels. . . . Holloway supports all of her contentions by combining studies of African and Afro-American culture with Euramerican critical theories of semiology and structuralism. The result is a fascinating study of the shifting language of the narrators in each of Hurston's novels, and how these shifts relate to the emotional states of the characters and to the novelist herself. Choice In The Character of the Word: The Texts of Zora Neale Hurston, Karla F.C. Holloway breaks new ground by placing Hurston's life and writings in a context at once literary and political. In a political sense, Hurston envisioned herself as the embodiment of her African heritage and felt that her writing was its message. From a literary perspective, Hurston's work had a tremendous influence on her daughters: writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Writing from the perspective of a black feminist, Holloway defines the milieu in which Hurston came of age and emphasizes the influence of this community upon her writing.