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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

15/25 | Started 04.04.21 • Finished 04.21.21 | 3 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect when diving into this American classic. The version I read had a foreword that explained some of the history around the book--specifically its being out of print for nearly thirty years thanks to white rejection of a lead character who was black, strong, and female. Sad, but not surprising given it was written in the late 1940s and so would have gone out of print during much of the civil rights movement.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

I found the dialectic writing added much to the story. I could really hear the author's voice. But I wasn't wowed by the book. Maybe that makes me less of a reader to give a slightly enthusiastic shrug at an American classic! There were some poignant moments and striking lines of writing that I really enjoyed. I just found the story to be a little strange, especially Janie's relationship with Tea Cake, and the circumstances surrounding Tea Cake's demise.

She was too busy feeling grief to dress like grief.

All that said, it's probably something that one should read if wanting to round out their literary resumé. It was good, and well written, just maybe not completely my cup of tea.

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