A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
“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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Zora Neale Hurston’s second novel tells the story of Janie Crawford, a young African American woman in central Florida. Despite her humble origins, Janie wants it all: love, beauty, and magic—or, as she says, “flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything.” Their Eyes Were Watching God is a black feminist novel that was generations ahead of its time when it was published in 1937. Although it was initially dismissed by critics, it was rediscovered and championed by Alice Walker in the ’70s. Combining ’30s Southern dialect with strikingly beautiful descriptions, Hurston’s story of self-love contains many lines so poetic we stopped to read them twice.
Had to Read for English and I'm Glad I Did!
At first I was a little weary of this book. I've only ever loved one book that was a required read for school and that was "Catcher in the Rye." I'm not a big fan of historical fiction normally as I'm more of a sci-fi and fantasy girl so I was expecting to hate this book. I was happily surprised however! The plot started out slow but quickly picked itself up. I actually wanted to read ahead of my class and looked forward to when new pages were assigned. I found the main character relatable and a good case study on how relationships should and shouldn't work. It tackles big issues on womanhood and growing up with amazing word choice and elegant ways of pointing out the most obvious things. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who has an open mind and is ready to open it further. Very amazing book!
Bittersweet Reality Check
This story left me with nothing but an acute awareness that the people I love and hold close to my heart will not be around forever; no matter how much I want/need them to be. After finishing this book, you may want to kiss the significant other in your life and express your feelings of affection for them before it’s too late.
One of My Favorites
I read this book for my AP English class, and I truly loved it! I'll probably be returning to it again and again