Their Eyes Were Watching God
Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Publication Date: 1937
Their Eyes Were Watching God_Book Guide
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is regarded as one of the great literary works to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance movement. It is the story of Janie’s life as narrated to her friend, Pheoby Watson, after she returns to her hometown after having been away for years. An important work of feminist and African-American literature, the novel is set in central and southern Florida. Though the novel was not positively received at first, it garnered fame and critical acclaim when Hurston’s works were rediscovered during the founding and curation of Black Studies programs across universities in the United States.
The novel takes readers through three Janie’s experiences with her three partners and her transformation into an assured, independent woman. There are several autobiographical elements in the story. The all-black community that features in the novel is similar to the community Hurston grew up in. Hurston is well aware of the complexities of the inhabitants’ lives, and many of the characters in the novel are based on Hurston’s observation of the community she grew up in. The lyricism of Hurston’s prose highlights her prowess for entertaining yet deep storytelling. Their Eyes Were Watching God has been performed as radio plays and theatrical plays. The film adaptation was sponsored by Harpo banner and produced by Oprah Winfrey.
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