Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and Langston Hughes ("The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Let America Be America Again") were collaborators, literary gadflies, and close companions. They traveled together in Hurston's dilapidated car through the rural South collecting folklore, worked on the play Mule Bone, and wrote scores of loving letters to each other. They even had the same patron: Charlotte Osgood Mason, a wealthy white woman who insisted on being called "Godmother."Paying them lavishly while trying to control their work, Mason may have been the spark for their bitter falling-out. Was the split inevitable when Hughes decided to be financially independent of their patron? Was Hurston jealous of the woman employed as their typist? Or was the rupture over the authorship of Mule Bone? Yuval Taylor answers these questions while illuminating Hurston's and Hughes's lives, work, competitiveness and ambition.