Skip to main content

T. R. Simon

Biography

T. R. Simon

Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon met 10 years ago while working together in publishing and became fast friends. After kicking around the idea of a writing collaboration for years, the notion of a novel for young readers about Zora Neale Hurston emerged, and both knew they had stumbled into the project of their dreams. Excited and humbled by the opportunity to expose young readers to a seminal figure in twentieth-century American letters, they discovered that Hurston’s life as both field anthropologist and writer custom-fit their own backgrounds. T. R. (Tanya) Simon has an MA in anthropology, while Victoria Bond holds an MFA in creative writing.

To prepare for the writing of this book, Simon and Bond read everything Zora Neale Hurston ever wrote. Bond says, "Hurston’s autobiography DUST TRACKS ON THE ROAD and Valerie Boyd’s WRAPPED IN RAINBOWS: THE LIFE OF ZORA NEALE HURSTON gave me the greatest sense of Zora’s character in terms of how her childhood shaped her as a folklorist, novelist and anthropologist.

Simon and Bond feel the experience of their collaborative effort helped them grow as writers. Taking this artistic journey together also deepened their appreciation for the power of hometowns. Eatonville, Florida, Hurston’s childhood home and the home of her imagination "was the impetus for everything Zora did," notes Simon, who grew up living all over the world. Bond, who grew up in East Orange, NJ, notes, "Home is truly hallowed ground." Both Bond and Simon now live in New York.

T. R. Simon

Books by T. R. Simon

by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult 10+

A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.