Harper Perennial will continue to publish the Harlem Renaissance writer for the next decade.

Publishers Weekly Staff -- Publishers Weekly, 3/3/2010 9:18:31 AM

HarperCollins and its Harper Perennial imprint have reached an agreement with the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that will allow the house to continue as the exclusive publisher of Zora Neale Hurston's adult backlist for the next decade. Hurston, the renowned Harlem Renaissance-era writer and folklorist, is author of such classics as Their Eyes Were Watching God and Mules and Men. Fifty years after her death, Hurston's books sell nearly 500,000 copies annually.

The new deal was negotiated between Harper Perennial editor Jeanette Perez, and Victoria Sanders of Victoria Sanders & Associates, the literary agent who has represented the Zora Neale Hurston Trust since 1996. Despite her prominence during the years of the Harlem Renaisance, the works of Hurston fell into obscurity in the later years of her life. Interest in her life and in her works was revived through the efforts of novelist Alice Walker, who wrote an important article about Hurston for Ms. Magazine in 1975, and a through network TV special organized by Oprah Winfrey in 2005.

"Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. We are very pleased that we'll continue to publish her books into the next decade," Carrie Kania, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Harper Perennial said. "It's also very exciting to introduce her works to a new generation of readers with aggressive plans regarding ebooks and new print editions of her classic works."