Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Mule Bone
Zora Neale Hurston & Langston Hughes


In 1930, two giants of African American literature joined forces to create a lively, insightful, often wildly farcical look inside a rural Southern black community – the three-act play Mule Bone. In this hilarious story, Jim and Dave are a struggling song-and-dance team, and when a woman comes between them, chaos ensues in their tiny Florida hometown. This extraordinary theatrical work broke new ground while triggering a bitter controversy between the collaborators that kept it out of the public eye for sixty years. It was performed first in 1991.

This edition of the rarely seen stage classic features Hurston’s original short story, The Bone of Contention, as well as the complete recounting of the acrimonious literary dispute that prevented Mule Bone from being produced or published until decades after the authors’ deaths.

Paperback, 230pp
Armistad Press, 2008 (1930)
ISBN 9780061651120