Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Book - 2000
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An African-American woman searches for a fulfilling relationship through two loveless marriages and finally finds it in the person of Tea Cake, an itinerant laborer and gambler.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is 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 has inspired writers and readers for close to seventy years.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, [2000], c1937
ISBN: 9780060199494
0060199490
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: xxii, 231 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

October 2018

"This atmospheric story about expectations, marriage, and unexpected love is richly atmospheric, set in the deep South's Florida Everglades in the 1920s."


From the critics


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m
maryebarr
Feb 23, 2020

Oh my goodness, I don't know where to begin. This author's writing is beautiful and descriptive. The raw reality made it difficult to read at times. The strength and honesty of the main character is inspiring. I read this novel for my Well Read Mom's book club or may never have picked it up. Definitely worth the read.

LPL_ShirleyB Sep 26, 2019

I'm gratefully savoring this classic! Poetic prose in Southern dialect from a colorful community of characters that I can visualize and feel.

Grace

a
abbi_g
Dec 26, 2018

I felt compelled to read Their Eyes Were Watching God after reading Glory Edim's, Well-Read Black Girl anthology. I can relate to the main character, Janie on a spiritual level, specifically her quest to live life on her own terms. In her case, she did this during an era in American society when it was very unpopular for a woman to exercise any form of independence or autonomy. Nonetheless, I'm so glad that I finally read this classic novel! I believe that novels represent a piece of their authors, so I'd like to imagine that Janie is a reflection of her creator, Zora Neale Hurston; and if she is, then Zora would've definitely been a friend of mine.

l
LaNomada01
Dec 13, 2018

A story that was almost lost to time. This novel about first love and becoming true to ones self - is the subject of many scholarly discussions. It is on the reading list of many High School Curriculum, and is a wonderful love story to come out of the Harlem Renaissance. One of the most unique aspects of this book - is the dialect in which it is written. The southern cadence, with which the main character Janie, narrates the whole novel in is beautiful and rhythmic.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone younger than 16-17 though. Simply because in it are themes - that normally one wouldn't understand until older - or that you might just need a little more experience to read. If you find yourself reading this book - and don't get all the hype - I would definitely suggest giving it another chance in a year or two. It might change your perspective - I know that's what happened with me - a year ago I would have given this book a frustrated 2 stars and an angry comment.

d
dirtbag
Oct 07, 2018

I love this book. She has a turn of phrase that is lyrical and frequently poetic, and a strong singular voice in her writing. The only thing that spoiled it a little for me, was the constant thought that if anyone had written the book this way in today's times, the thought police would have come to get them.

f
FVReader
Sep 19, 2018

This is a lovely story. A woman grows to believe in herself, her life, her love.
Hurston tells this story in dialect. It slowed my reading down; thus making me really read the words, immerse in the story. It's diabolically clever of her.
Janie's story is one I'll remember. She's a wonderful, warm, loving character.
A terrific read.

m
macierules
Sep 17, 2018

Just added to my favourites of all time list!

s
sgcf
Aug 14, 2018

Loved, loved, loved this book. Read it years ago and love it even more now. I was captivated by the idiomatic black voice which lent surprising imagery to the dialogue even though it slowed me down, because I wanted to really hear it in my head. Such a noble story of a woman discovering the indomitability of her spirit despite being mired in the lower echelons of society. Hurston has it all here – themes of love, race, power, gender, spirituality – eloquent and unhurried as she brings the protagonist into self-realization.

RogerDeBlanck Jul 24, 2018

Hurston's achingly beautiful novel captures one woman's journey for self-discovery. Janie Crawford leads a life of hardship and struggle until she finds happiness and the realization of what living means with Teo Cake. The romance they share is incredibly genuine and pure. Although sadness befalls the temple of love they build for each other, the story exalts the sacrament of loving someone forever. This book covers all of life's value lessons: finding one's self; learning to love, trust, endure, and believe; dealing with adversity, grief, and loss; and struggling to survive and move on. Hurston is a gifted writer, and she creates a vernacular dialogue as rich and mesmerizing as Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. She has captured the culture and dialect of the African American experience in the South, and it is easy to see the influence of Hurston’s work on such accomplished writers as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Their Eyes Were Watching God is an unforgettable novel by an artist at the height of her abilities. It is truly an amazing reading experience.

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Quotes

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l
Lienhoatn
Apr 10, 2020

“She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.” (25)

l
Lienhoatn
Apr 10, 2020

“Because I hate the way his head is so long one way and so flat on the sides and that pound of fat back on his neck.”
“He never made his own head. You talk so silly.”
“I don’t care who made it, I don’t like the job.”
(24)

l
Lienhoatn
Apr 10, 2020

“Cause you told me I was going to love him, and, I don’t. Maybe if somebody was to tell me how, I could do it.” (23)

j
jessejanmartin
Dec 20, 2019

One of the best books ever

a
abbi_g
Dec 26, 2018

Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

britprincess1ajax Dec 24, 2017

"Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore."

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Lienhoatn
Apr 10, 2020

Lienhoatn thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

britprincess1ajax Dec 24, 2017

britprincess1ajax thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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ianwilliams_0
Jun 21, 2014

ianwilliams_0 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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