As it was published in 1935, Mules and Men, Zora Neale Hurston's landmark collection of folktales, may not have been the book that its author first had in mind. In this anthropological study, Hurston describes in detail the people who tell the stories, often even inserting herself into the storytelling scene. Evidently, however, Hurston had prepared another version, a manuscript that was recently discovered and published after having been forgotten since 1929. This version differs from Mules and Men in that it simply records stories, with no descriptive or interpretive information. While we cannot know for certain why Hurston's original manuscript went unpublished during her lifetime, it may have been because publishers wanted something more than a transcription of tales. Contemporary novelist and critic John Edgar Wideman has described Black literature as the history of a writing that sought to escape its frame, in other words, as the effort of Black writers to present the stories of Black people without having to have a mediating voice to explain the stories to a non-Black audience. In this, Hurston may have been ahead of her time.