Next Up: Their Eyes Were Watching God
I read Their Eyes Were Watching God back in college, and I remember being really impressed with the novel.
The Wikipedia entry about the novel says it “has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women’s literature.” Screw that. Let’s just say it’s a seminal work in literature. Period.
This novel is the real deal, and I’m excited to read it again.
Here are a few facts about Their Eyes Were Watching God and Zora Neale Hurston:
- The novel, published in 1937, focuses on the story of Janie Crawford, an African-American teenage girl.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God was controversial when it was first published, partly because of Hurston’s rejection of the “racial uplift” technique. More on that later.
- Hurston wrote the novel while she was living in Haiti doing research as part of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
- Many notable African-American authors criticized the novel when it was released, including Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Alain Locke.
- The novel was “rediscovered” in the 1970s.
- The book was adapted into a made-for-TV movie, produced by Oprah Winfrey, in 2005.
- Hurston was, famously, a Republican and was affectionately known as “America’s favorite black conservative.” She generally disagreed with the philosophies of Communism and the New Deal and supported Booker T. Washington’s style of “self-help politics.” More on this later.
- Hurston passed away in 1960 at the age of 69.
I should have plenty of good blog material with this book, and with all interesting information about Zora Neale Hurston.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about both in the coming weeks. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about Their Eyes Were Watching God?