Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale…

Their Eyes Were Watching God (original 1937; edition 2006)

by Zora Neale Hurston

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,010195215 (3.97)1 / 674
Title:Their Eyes Were Watching God
Authors:Zora Neale Hurston
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006), Edition: 1st ed., Paperback, 219 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:black feminism, fiction

Work details

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

Recently added bycolleentw, ehelmke, private library, joshanastasia, LitaVore, SMcGonegal, ceciliachard
Legacy LibrariesThomas C. Dent, Carl Sandburg
  1. 113
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (aleahmarie)
  2. 50
    Beloved by Toni Morrison (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 10
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Strong female protagonist causes a stir in a male-dominated society by going after the things she wants.
  4. 10
    Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Kincaid and Hurston have each set their moving, character-driven novels in atmospheric, sunny settings -- the Caribbean, and Florida respectively. Both novels explore haunting truths about identity, society, friendship and love as an African-American female protagonist gains new self-awareness and respect for her experiences.… (more)
1930s (16)
Read (38)
To Read (199)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (193)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
Definitely a classic you should read. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
I read this novel for my Black Women Writers course and immediately fell in love. It is simultaneously poetic and harshly realistic as Janie grows and learns of the nature of relationships and what it means to love another. I recommend it for everyone, but especually those who catch themselves wondering about that elusive "true love" or those trying to learn how to love themselves. ( )
  km.bezner | Aug 25, 2016 |
Una storia d'amore, di vita e di morte incredibile!
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
I liked the subtle character development of Janie as she transitioned between the different stages of her life; Hurston's little easter eggs throughout the book really opened my eyes and made me understand how deeply sexism and racism were embedded in society.

It was a little hard for me to understand the long patches of dialogue because they were written in the slang and words of the community at the time. Although this contributed to the authenticity, I just felt like it was hard to process. ( )
  CatherineHsu | Jun 8, 2016 |

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
4 stars

This is a woman’s story. Janie isn’t an important person. She’s an ordinary woman looking for happiness and a fulfillment that she can’t quite define. I liked Janie and I especially liked the voice of the author as she commented on Janie’s thoughts and behavior. There were endless passages that I wanted to highlight so I wouldn’t forget them.

“She didn’t read books, so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop”

“She got so she received all things with the solidness of the earth which soaks up urine and perfume with the same indifference.”

“She felt like slapping some of them around grinning at her like a pack of chessy cats, trying to make out they looked like love.”

I liked Janie and I loved the poetic narrator’s voice, but I had trouble with the story. There were a number of dramatic events, but few of them seemed to be told with a great deal of tension. I didn’t find Teacake to be as charming and attractive as Janie did, and this caused me to lose interest in the best part of her life story. I really wish that Hurston had given more details about Janie’s trial, but at that point it seemed that she was rushing to get to the end. Overall, the book gave me a great deal to think about. I’m very glad that I read it.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zora Neale Hurstonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danticat, EdwidgeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Diaz, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gates Jr., Henry LouisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Washington, Mary HelenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Henry Allen Moe
First words
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
When I first read Their Eyes Were Watching God, in the early 1970's, I devoured it as one devours the most satisfying romantic fiction - the kind that stems from reality and that can, in the broadest sense, become real for oneself. (Introduction)
I first encountered Zora Neale Hurston in an Afro-American literature course I took in graduate school. (Afterword)
This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. the rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep. It connected itself with other vaguely felt matters that had struck her outside observation and buried themselves in her flesh. Now they emerged and quested about her consciousness...

She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her.
Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.
Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches.
She saw a dust bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage!
There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
This is the story a girl who searches for the love she believes is true. Throughout her struggles she gains strength, independence, and wisdom. She overcomes the obstacles in her path to chase her dreams and they take her places she never thought she'd end up.

We read this book for class last year. And I don't like Janie at all. I think she's flighty, annoying, childish, and selfish. I don't like Janie but I do like what she learns throughout her life. I appreciate that she is determined and willing to fight for what she wants and believes.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061120065, Paperback)

At the height of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1930s, Zora Neale Hurston was the preeminent black woman writer in the United States. She was a sometime-collaborator with Langston Hughes and a fierce rival of Richard Wright. Her stories appeared in major magazines, she consulted on Hollywood screenplays, and she penned four novels, an autobiography, countless essays, and two books on black mythology. Yet by the late 1950s, Hurston was living in obscurity, working as a maid in a Florida hotel. 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.

Of Hurston's fiction, Their Eyes Were Watching God is arguably the best-known and perhaps the most controversial. The novel follows the fortunes of Janie Crawford, a woman living in the black town of Eaton, Florida. Hurston sets up her characters and her locale in the first chapter, which, along with the last, acts as a framing device for the story of Janie's life. Unlike Wright and Ralph Ellison, Hurston does not write explicitly about black people in the context of a white world--a fact that earned her scathing criticism from the social realists--but she doesn't ignore the impact of black-white relations either:

It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
One person the citizens of Eaton are inclined to judge is Janie Crawford, who has married three men and been tried for the murder of one of them. Janie feels no compulsion to justify herself to the town, but she does explain herself to her friend, Phoeby, with the implicit understanding that Phoeby can "tell 'em what Ah say if you wants to. Dat's just de same as me 'cause mah tongue is in mah friend's mouf."

Hurston's use of dialect enraged other African American writers such as Wright, who accused her of pandering to white readers by giving them the black stereotypes they expected. Decades later, however, outrage has been replaced by admiration for her depictions of black life, and especially the lives of black women. In Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston breathes humanity into both her men and women, and allows them to speak in their own voices. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:31 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Meet the unforgettable Janie Crawford, an articulate African-American woman in the 1930s. Traces Janie's quest for identity, through three marriages, on a journey to her roots. When Janie Starks returns to her rural Florida home, her small black community is overwhelmed with curiosity about her relationship with a younger man.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
118 avail.
167 wanted
4 pay8 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.97)
0.5 8
1 49
1.5 9
2 136
2.5 34
3 471
3.5 126
4 959
4.5 117
5 921


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,719,913 books! | Top bar: Always visible