Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Paperback Virago Press

By (author) Zora Neale Hurston, Introduction by Zadie Smith

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  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 22mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 3 January 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0860685241
  • ISBN 13: 9780860685241
  • Sales rank: 16,382

Product description

When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds ...'For me, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is one of the very greatest American novels of the 20th century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought, but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more' Zadie Smith

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Author information

In the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, Zora Neale Hurston was the preeminent black woman writer in the United States. She died in 1960 in a Welfare home, was buried in an unmarked grave, and quickly faded from literary consciousness until 1975 when Alice Walker almost single-handedly revived interest in her work.

Review quote

'For me, Their eyes were watching God is one of the very greatest American novels of the 20th century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought, but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more' Zadie Smith

Editorial reviews

I loved Jonah's Gourd Vine - thought some of her short stories very fine - and feel that this measures up to the promise of the early books. Authentic picture of Negroes, not in relation to white people but to each other. An ageing grandmother marries off her granddaughter almost a child to a middle-aged man for security - and she leaves him when she finds that her dreams are dying, and goes off with a dapper young Negro, full of his own sense of power and go-getter qualities. He takes her to a mushroom town, buys a lot, puts up a store and makes the town sit up and take notice. His success goes to his head - their life becomes a mockery of her high hopes. And after his death, she goes off with a youth who brings her happiness and tragedy. A poignant story, told with almost rhythmic beauty. (Kirkus Reviews)