Alice Walker (The Color Purple) was responsible for kindling our current interest in this lovely but once neglected work. Their Eyes was a favorite of hers, now a favorite of many, and "short-listed" as a favorite of book clubs everywhere.
A LitLovers LitPick (Apr. '08)
A classic of black literature, Their Eyes Were Watching God belongs in the same category—with that of William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway—of enduring American literature.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston draws a sharp portrait of a proud, independent black woman looking for her own identity and resolving not to live lost in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or romantic dreams.... Their Eyes Were Watching God has been called the first African American feminist novel because of its portrayal of a strong black woman rebelling against society's restrictions — and the received wisdom of her Nanny, no less — to seek out her own destiny. But ultimately, this is not a novel that looks out to the world to make political protest or social commentary; it concerns itself with describing the power that lies within us to define ourselves and our lives as we see fit, unbound and unfettered by society's limitations and prejudices. As Alice Walker once wrote, "There is enough self-love in that one book — love of community, culture, traditions — to restore a world.
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