Book of the Week: 03/11 - 03/17

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a 1937 novel and the best known work by African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston. The novel narrates main character Janie Crawford's "ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny." As a young woman, who is fair-skinned with long hair, she expects more out of life, but comes to realize that people must learn about life 'fuh theyselves' (for themselves), just as people can only go to God for themselves. Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century, the novel was initially poorly received, but today, it has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women's literature.TIME included the novel in its 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston was a fixture of the Harlem Renaissance. 'Born in Alabama in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston became a fixture of New York City's Harlem Renaissance, thanks to novels like Their Eyes Were Watching God and shorter works like "Sweat." She was also an outstanding folklorist and anthropologist who recorded cultural history, as illustrated by her Mules and Men. Hurston died in poverty in 1960, before a revival of interest led to posthumous recognition of her accomplishments.