Short Story Month: “Sweat”

The end of Short Story Month is upon us and I have a final few tales to share.  (Not that won’t still periodically share them throughout the year. I’m sure I will–I’m such a rogue.)

I’m ending the month with two of Zora Neale Hurston’s stories. While modern books on writing tell aspiring authors to stay away from writing dialect, Hurston is a master of it. The contrast between the dialogue of her characters and her crisp “King’s English” narrative voice is stark, but she balances her stories with the right amount of each.

I've always loved this quote.
I’ve always loved this quote.

Maybe this dialect is easy for me to read as I am from the American South and grew up around similar pronunciations. If you have trouble with this patois–I’m going to sound like an English teacher here–sound out the words and their meaning should become clear.

“Sweat” is a tale of what happens when a woman has had enough. Enough abuse and enough of her abuser.

***Warning*** The “N” word is present in this story. Thought you should know before you read her story here.

Also read her short story “The Gilded Six Bits.”


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