“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. The audio is performed by the legendary Ruby Dee.
This was an amazing book. I can't believe I didn't know about it or read it until this year. So glad that it is also available as an audiobook. Ruby Dee was great.
Perfect for those that can't follow the vernacular
I read the first chapter without the audio, and couldn't follow the dialect. I bought the audio to follow along, and just made the reading that more easier. The reader's ability to to nail everything is perfect.
All Time Favorite
This book has been my favorite book for over 10 years. I still pick it up and read it several times a year. I love that she describes the area of Orlando that I live in, and how some of the buildings are still there. She also describes other cities to show how Janie follows love, or what she believes to be love at the time. The young girl's plight is definitely not new to society. Many women follow love they believe to be pure and true just to find out it is cold and callus. Janie emits passion, defiance, and a beauty only a woman could possess. She is an amazing character and when you are done reading, she’ll be the only one you think of years later. The historical depiction in this book is also remarkable. From the “muck” (the ’glades) to Jacksonville, the author describes 1930’s Florida in a great native slang that I’ve seen some people complain about. If you have trouble reading this book, you need to read it out loud and remember these characters are for the most part, poor southerners. I’m sure most of you do no write like you speak, because that is more difficult than writing properly. Zora Neale Hurston has captured true language, vernacular and colloquial speech of 1930’s southerners, and found a way to actually spell it all out for you. I recommend this book to everyone, but have found that mostly women appreciate it best. This book is required reading for many high schools, but the amount of dissertations I saw given on this book in college was incredible.