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Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Book Overview

Their Eyes Were Watching God, a luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern black woman in the 1930s whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

10 ratings

A story about a womanโ€™s journey for love and identity

Many themes are explored in this book, such as racism, societal expectations of gender, and of course self fulfillment. A very good read and the contrast between the colloquialism and descriptive writing really enhances the whole story.


beautiful book

One of my Favorite Classics!

I decided to buy this book and read it again after I remembered it being one of my favorites of my high school's required reading. It didn't disappoint! This book remains one of the most beautiful books I've ever read.

I loved it!

I bought a bunch of books here by Black authors during the 2020 unrest. I discovered Toni Morrison when The Bluest Eye was cited by a local School Board for banning years ago! PBS had mentioned this one, as the First Black Author's, first published novel; so I took the opportunity to add several of her works to my "need to read bookcase. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a strong believer that literature is God's gift to humanity to help us preserve and understand history and to our cultural differences. ๐Ÿ˜Š I would not recommend it for speed readers! ๐Ÿ˜ The enjoyment comes from the unusual story and the dialect of the characters. โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’ฏ

I Love This Book!

When I was younger, I remember watching the movie so that's kind of what sparked my interest in the book. I was not disappointed in the quality of the book that arrived. When I first started reading, it took a moment to get used to the dialogue but after the first few pages, it just came natural to me and eventually felt like I wasn't reading at all but in the story myself! This is one of my favorite books and I'm so grateful to Zora Neale Hurston for writing it.


Classic, beautiful, must-read!

One for the Ages

Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" has been analyzed, criticized, and lionized over the brief span of its existence. Lately, praise has predominated though with continued carping on issues which she made clear she considered secondary to her purpose. Hurston's mastery of language places this work in the top tier of Anglophone literature, and the broadness of her comprehension defies spatial, temporal, social, or political confines. Her novel is powerful because it is humane and universal in scope. The story enchants because the voice relating it is unfailingly compassionate. This lyrical voice was owned by no one but Hurston herself. Throughout her professional life, she remained true to her vision regardless of praise or criticism. Ultimately, Hurston's literary worth, and that of her detractors, critics, and rivals, will be judged by generations to come. I'm confident that her stature will endure and her insistence on self-definition will be vindicated.

a must read!

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891-January 28, 1960) was one of the most important, insightful and forgotten authors who was especially prolific during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s through the 1940s. This was a very important period of time in the United States, because these decades truly were an especially prolific time for great African-American artists, writers, dancers, musicians, photographers and others to truly express their gifts to the world. Hurston was no exception. Born in Notasulga, Alabama, and eventually relocated to Eatonville, Florida, Hurston based much of her novels on the experiences of those around her, in the predominantly African-American Southern town. With a degree in Anthropology, she found the opportunity to do ethnographic research on those close to her, and truly wove some fascinating and unflinchingly realistic looks at the Southern Black experience. THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (written in 1937) follows the story of the main character Janey, and her experiences with three very different sorts of men, told in flashback style to her best friend, Phoebe. Janey's idealistic image of the relationships between men and women is not realized in reality. In fact, the common theme of woman "as mule," or beast of burden, for men, keeps resurfacing. This novel has been criticized by scholars and intellectuals alike, for what is described as a racist depiction of Southern Black life, during the early part of the 20th century. For me, this was not the case. I really believe that Zora Neale Hurston was channeling the experiences of many Black women she interviewed, over time, and wanted to present a realistic picture of the hardships they endured and [sometimes] overcame. Beautiful........Though, Zora died many years ago and wasn't well-recognized by a more mainstream audience, until Alice Walker brought her to the attention of many in the 1970s, I believe that her writing is alive and powerful today as the day she wrote it.

Probably Hurston's greatest gift to world literature

"There Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston, is widely acknowledged as a beloved classic of American literature. This novel is truly one of those great works that remains both entertaining and deeply moving; it is a book for classrooms, for reading groups of all types, and for individual readers.In "There Eyes," Hurston tells the life story of Janie, an African-American woman. We accompany Janie as she experiences the very different men in her life. Hurston's great dialogue captures both the ongoing "war of the sexes," as well as the truces, joys, and tender moments of male-female relations. But equally important are Janie's relationships with other Black women. There are powerful themes of female bonding, identity, and empowerment which bring an added dimension to this book.But what really elevates "Their Eyes" to the level of a great classic is Hurston's use of language. This is truly one of the most poetic novels in the American canon. Hurston blends the engaging vernacular speech of her African-American characters with the lovely "standard" English of her narrator, and in both modes creates lines that are just beautiful."Their Eyes" captures the universal experiences of pain and happiness, love and loss. And the whole story is told with both humor and compassion. If you haven't read it yet, read it; if you've already read it, read it again.

Every woman's hero.

At the end, I closed the book and I cried. Then I wanted to open it and start reading all over again from the beginning. Janie is a woman who has endured oppression, suppression, and tragedy. She found love and she found herself. She not only survived but discovered her own strength and accepted life without self-destructing. Janie, is every woman's hero, most certainly mine.

Their Eyes Were Watching God Mentions in Our Blog

Their Eyes Were Watching God in The Glory of the Harlem Renaissance
The Glory of the Harlem Renaissance
Published by William Shelton • February 17, 2023

Langston Hughes described the experience of the Harlem Renaissance as "…to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame." It was a movement of the senses, steps quickened to the sound of Jazz and Blues, the air was redolent of food reminiscent of Carolina and the Caribbean, the mind was stimulated by new ideas, and the energy was like an electric current to a wire.

Their Eyes Were Watching God in The Perfect Bookish Quotes for Gift Tags or Holiday Cards
The Perfect Bookish Quotes for Gift Tags or Holiday Cards
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 20, 2022
Are you fretting over what to write on gift tags or in your holiday greeting cards? Here's the perfect solution! We've curated a collection of wise, witty, and "aww"-inspiring literary quotes for all the special people in your life.
Their Eyes Were Watching God in Summer Reading List: Classics Edition
Summer Reading List: Classics Edition
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 16, 2021

Are you ready for a reading challenge this summer? We’ve rounded up a list of exceptional classics for you to consider. You could call them the original beach books!

Their Eyes Were Watching God in Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Such Sweet Sorrow: The Literary Legacy of Star-Crossed Lovers
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 29, 2021

On this date in 1595, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first performed (not officially published until 1597). Although the renowned tragedy was by no means the first literary story of doomed love, it coined the phrase "star-cross'd lovers" and continues to inspire heartbreaking sagas even today.

Their Eyes Were Watching God in ThriftBooks and Libraries
ThriftBooks and Libraries
Published by The Library Team • September 08, 2020

Have you ever wondered why you might want to get a copy of a book marked as being "Ex-library?" Our Library Team explains here why sometimes that is the best choice, and how your local library could benefit from it.

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