Their Eyes Were Watching God


First published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God is the lyrical, spellbinding story of a black woman determined to create her own identity separate from men.  The novel is told in a series of flashbacks by Janie Crawford to her close friend Pheoby. As Janie details her life story, she reveals her three contentious marriages, the last of which was finally founded on love but marked by tragic circumstances. 

Widely regarded as one of the greatest American novels, Their Eyes Were Watching God explores themes both universal and intensely personal: race, passion, violence, and the role of women in society.

β€œIt is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands . . . They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against cruel walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was an American novelist, short story writer, and anthropologist.  Born in Alabama, she spent most of her life in Florida.  Some of her most well-known published works include Their Eyes Were Watching God; Mules and Men; Dust Tracks on a Road; and Moses, Man of the Mountain.

Published:  1937
Length:  256 pages
Set in:  Florida, United States