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

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In continual honour of Black History Month, I am reviewing Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Following the life story of Janie Crawford, a fair skinned African-American, who is the product of her mother’s rape, who in turn was the product of her mother’s rape. Janie’s grandmother wants the best life for her daughter, and subsequently her granddaughter, but the racial tension of the times make this hard. Janie proceeds to marry three very different men, with three different consequences through her life, leading her through hardship, independence and ultimately a return to the beginning of her story. Focusing on racial and sexual inequality in the 1930s, Hurston’s book is a civil rights masterpiece. As hard as it is to read, it is something that anyone should read. In our current clime of racial and sexual inequality, Hurston’s writing is sadly prescient, and chillingly necessary. Written as a southern dialect is spoken, at 256 pages, it is an immersive text. 

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