Their Eyes Were Watching God

Hurston, Zora Neale

Zora Neale Hurston, 1891?–60, African-American writer, b. Notasulga, Ala. She grew up in the pleasant all-black town of Eatonville, Fla. and, moving north, graduated from Barnard College, where she studied with Franz Boas. Her placid childhood and privileged academic background are often cited as major reasons for her work's general lack of stress on racism, a characteristic so unlike such contemporaries as Richard Wright. An anthropologist and folklorist, Hurston collected African-American folktales in the rural South and sympathetically interpreted them in the collections Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938). A third volume of tales, Every Tongue Got to Confess, was discovered in manuscript and published in 2001. Hurston, a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance, was also the author of four novels including Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) and the influential Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Her plays include the comedy Mule Bone (1931), written in collaboration with her friend Langston Hughes.

See her autobiography (1942); C. Kaplan, ed., Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (2002); biographies by R. E. Hemenway (1977) V. Boyd (2002), and V. L. Moylan (2011); studies by H. Bloom, ed. (1986), S. Glassman and K. L. Seidel (1991), J. Carter-Sigglow (1994), J. Lowe (1994), D. G. Plant (1995), L. M. Hill (1996), G. L. Cronin (1998), A. I. Karanja (1999), S. E. Meisenhelder (1999), and D. Miles (2002).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Understanding Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents
Neal A. Lester.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Student Companion to Zora Neale Hurston
Josie P. Campbell.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)"
Should Their Eyes Have Been Watching God? Hurston's Use of Religious Experience and Gothic Horror
Curren, Erik D.
African American Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring 1995
Faith of a (Woman) Writer
Alice Kessler-Harris; William McBrien.
Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 32 "Defeating the False God: Janie's Self Determination in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God"
"'... Ah Said Ah'd Save De Text for You'": Recontextualizing the Sermon to Tell (Her)story in Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.' (Black South Fiction, Art, Culture)
Hubbard, Dolan.
African American Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, Summer 1993
Crossing the Double-Cross: The Practice of Feminist Criticism
Elizabeth A. Meese.
University of North Carolina Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Orality and Textuality in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God"
Voice and Interiority in Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.' (Black Women's Culture Issue)
Racine, Maria J.
African American Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 1994
Legal Narratives of Self-Defense and Self-Effacement in 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.'(Critical Essay)
Korobkin, Laura H.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring 2003
The Death of Janie Crawford: Tragedy and the American Dream in 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.' (Special Issue: Varieties of Ethnic Criticism)
Hattenhauer, Darryl.
MELUS, Vol. 19, No. 1, Spring 1994
Liberation and Domination: Their Eyes Were Watching God and the Evolution of Capitalism
McGowan, Todd.
MELUS, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 1999
"The Porch Couldn't Talk for Looking": Voice and Vision in 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.'(Zora Neale Hurston)(Critical Essay)
Clarke, Deborah.
African American Review, Vol. 35, No. 4, Winter 2001
"The Hierarchy Itself": Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and the Sacrifice of Narrative Authority
Simmons, Ryan.
African American Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2002
The Logic of Expenditure in Their Eyes Were Watching God
Haddox, Thomas F.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 34, No. 1, March 2001
"Love Me like I like to Be": The Sexual Politics of Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God,' the Classic Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement
Batker, Carol.
African American Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, Summer 1998
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