Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Written by Zora Neale Hurston

Narrated by Ruby Dee


Their Eyes Were Watching God

Written by Zora Neale Hurston

Narrated by Ruby Dee

ratings:
4.5/5 (673 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 31, 2005
ISBN:
9780060842765
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

Editor's Note

A stunner…

This powerful, beloved classic has earned a passionate following (as well as intense reactions for its sexuality). An anthropologist, Hurston beautifully illuminates dialect in a moving tale rooted in the people and histories of the South.

Description

"A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don't know how to live properly." -Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years-due largely to initial audiences' rejection of its strong black female protagonist-Hurston's classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 31, 2005
ISBN:
9780060842765
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist. An author of four novels (Jonah’s Gourd Vine, 1934; Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937; Moses, Man of the Mountain, 1939; and Seraph on the Suwanee, 1948); two books of folklore (Mules and Men, 1935, and Tell My Horse, 1938); an autobiography (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942); and over fifty short stories, essays, and plays. She attended Howard University, Barnard College and Columbia University, and was a graduate of Barnard College in 1927. She was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and grew up in Eatonville, Florida. She died in Fort Pierce, in 1960.  In 1973, Alice Walker had a headstone placed at her gravesite with this epitaph: “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.”  


Related to Their Eyes Were Watching God

Related Audiobooks

Related Articles


Reviews

What people think about Their Eyes Were Watching God

4.5
673 ratings / 150 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    “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.”

    4th time reading this book. 2nd time listening via the audiobook. It's my favorite book and a comfort read. By far an exceptional piece. ? I can never say enough wonderful things about it.
  • (5/5)
    The story, and the writing of the story, could not be more beautiful. I feel I was done a terrible disservice by not being shown this book earlier in my life. I might’ve gone through life understanding it better. I might have been more hopeful. As hopeful as I am now.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely Brilliant. Zora Neale Hurston is truly a master in the art of storytelling.
  • (4/5)
    This book was engaging.
    It’s always quite sad though to see black women go through struggle love dating back to post slavery days. I found myself wishing Jaine didn’t pick up any of the three men she did and rolled my eyes especially when she got with Jody and Tea Cake but then again I suppose that was the world they lived in back then. These kind of books always deeply bother me (painful to read) but they are very important. Jaine also developed a lot of strength throughout all that struggle so there was a silver lining of some sorts.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely delightful. Such a rich build up narrated by the best.Ruby Dee makes me want to listen to it all over again. It is achingly beautiful at its peaks and wrenchingly sorrowful at its lows. Definitely a favourite.
  • (5/5)
    Outstanding ! I loved this book. So original. A must read.
  • (4/5)
    It gave me a deeper understanding of the lives of the poor freed slaves in the Deep South.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent reading by Ruby Dee. Wonderful story of human behavior!
  • (5/5)
    This story should be put up there as one of the best love stories. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, in fact it's mostly quite a difficult and oppressive life for Janey but she find beauty in it and it's hard, as a reader, not to leave the book feeling a little more beautiful and a little more grateful yourself.
  • (4/5)
    What a beautiful love story, it’s a story to make you think about family, love, race.
  • (5/5)
    This was a great book. It showed how she had to make a hard decision.
  • (5/5)
    You absolutely must read this book. It’s like your grandmother’s best-kept recipe. Every word, sweet and savory. The kind of sentences you read twice because they’re so deliciously concocted, and then you whisper quietly to yourself, “God damn, that’s good.” My appetite for Zora is kindled. She has my heart forever.
  • (5/5)
    Awesome awesome awesome awesome great reading I enjoyed this book
  • (5/5)
    So glad I listened to this novel. Loved how the title was from the hurricane.
  • (4/5)
    This is stunning. The narration is beautiful, she really brings the words to life. I’ll definitely reread it in the future!
  • (5/5)
    Beautiful prose put to tragedy and an ugly history. Captivating love story.
  • (5/5)
    I read this over 25 years ago. I cried then. I just listened to it and I cried again. So beautifully written. You feel something for the characters, good or bad. Please, don't waste your time on the movie with Halle Berry. It pales in comparison. And does not give insight into any of the characters. Like her grandmother, her best friend, her husbands, not even Janey and Tea Cake. Also remember This was written in the early early 20th century. Language and social norms have changed. The characters are direct descendants of enslaved peoples. Put your idea of political correctness on the shelf. Enjoy
  • (5/5)
    Perfect narration and reading that captured me completely from start to finish
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this audiobook. The narrator did an excellent job. The book did get a bit slow at times but I was glad I stuck with it.
  • (4/5)
    I want to say something and I pray y'all don't hate me after. I think I am done reading classic black novels. The only person I can really take in fully is Maya Angelou. Zora Neale Hurston catches the spirit of African-Americans at that time and masterfully relays it to readers with a skillful mix of formal English. Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of those books that you feel you ought to love because it occupies such an iconic position in 20th century literature. I can’t say I found it an easy read.
    4 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • (5/5)
    Powerful, emotional, understandable , and historical. It's a story of old, yet we still live in the ongoing separatist mindset instead of an enlightened zest for all life offers. That's the real tragedy in this story. Definitely worth reading and contemplating.
  • (5/5)
    Simply amazing! This story is funny, sad, educational and very entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    Ruby Dee's narration is wonderful! Exactly what I needed to bring the dialects of this beautiful story to life.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing book and performance

    This book was an amazing blend of gentle emotions and deep intensity.

    Set in the US South in the early 20th century, it tells the story of a woman as she navigated the great relationships and struggles of her life.

    It's fascinating seeing how much she defines herself but her relationships, particularly as a female main character in a female-authored book.

    Themes of love, loss, freedom and trust run strongly through the book, as does race due to the perspective and locus of the text.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this poetic, gem of a book. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ruby Dee which made even more enjoyable!
  • (5/5)
    This such a beautiful read. The narrator did an excellent job. Amazing ?
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Outstanding, both the writing of the novel as well as the reading! I truly enjoyed this one.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    You can talk about Their Eyes Were Watching God for what it is - or what it isn't.What it isn't is a bitter angry get-Whitey book like some that came out of the Harlem renaissance. (I may be wrong but I don't think there is a white character in the book - which may be its greatest strength.)What it is, is a coming-of-age story or a questing story in the classic style, except it's about a woman, with slavery not that long ago in her bloodline, going out in the world to find her way and find her place. It's a book of lovely wonderful affectionate sketches of life among the Black communities of Northern Florida, in the time between the wars. There's love and laughter and fear and panic andlife and death. And people! And stories! Insightful revealing stories about the lives of those who live in small Southern towns. Twain does this. Hurston does it too. (Note that the Gullah accent that she renders flawlessly - if sometimes a little broadly - can take some getting used to.) And Janie our heroine does not charm us or try to make us like her - she just walks the world to love and grow and learn and keep moving. I think I've failed utterly in conveying to you the luminous quality of the writing, and the nitty-gritty dusty deep down details of Southern living that this book reveals effortlessly.But authors who can take you to a new world and show you around while telling a story are always amazing and always welcome in these parts.
  • (4/5)
    In den 1920er Jahren spielt dieser Roman. Janie lebt bei ihrer Großmutter, die noch die Sklaverei erlebt hat. Entsprechend wünscht sie sich für ihre Enkelin, dass diese ein wohlhabendes Leben leben soll. Eine gute Partie mit entsprechendem finanziellen Rückhalt ist da der erste Schritt.Janie selbst geht es aber um etwas anderes: Sie möchte respektiert und geachtet werden, in ihrer Lebensgemeinschaft als Person anerkannt sein. So geht sie drei Beziehungen ein, und erst in der dritten, vollkommen unpassenden, erfährt sie die gewünschte Achtung.Das Buch schildert das Leben der schwarzen Südstaaten-Bevölkerung Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts aus Sicht einer Frau, die in der afro-amerikanischen Gemeinschaft lebt. Es geht um das Zusammenleben, Mann und Frau, die Liebe. Es macht nicht den Rassismus zum Thema, wie man es klischeehaft von schwarzer Literatur erwartet. Es schildert vielmehr ein Frauenleben, das spezifisch in seiner Situation ist, aber allgemeingültig in seiner Lösung: Dem eigenen Gefühl folgen, sich auf die Liebe einlassen. Für diese Thematik wurde die Autorin von vielen Stimmen gelobt, ihr Buch wird von vielen gepriesen, gerade auch von Autorinnen, die ähnliche Themen in späteren Jahren bearbeiteten: Toni Morisson, Alice Walker, Zadie Smith. Die Autorin steckt einiges von ihrer Biografie in das Buch, doch sie selbst suchte eine ganz andere Lösung: Ihr Weg war Bildung, Forschung und dann die Schriftstellerei. Die große Liebe ihres Lebens gab sie auf, da ihr Partner ihre Unabhängigkeit nicht gut heißen konnte. In Erinnerung an diese Liebe und vielleicht auch im Wunsch, das Scheitern zumindest schreibend umzudeuten, schrieb sie dieses Buch. Meine positiven Worte sollen nicht verheimlichen, dass das Buch schwer zu lesen ist. Es ist wohl sehr schwer, den Originalsound zu übertragen, die direkte gesprochene Sprache der Handelnden. Der Übersetzer geht den Weg, dass er einzelne Sätze des englischsprachigen Originals belässt und dann übersetzt, dass er versucht, in rhythmisch-poetischer Sprache zu schreiben, die an Bluessongs erinnert. Das gelingt mitunter und ist zum Teil enorm poetisch, ist aber nicht immer flüssig.Dennoch ist dem Übersetzer ein tolles Buch gelungen. Wie tief er in das Buch eingetaucht ist, zeigt auch das gelungene Nachwort.
  • (5/5)
    This book is heralded as an "African American Feminist Classic", which put me off a bit. In the age of what came to be known as "racial uplifting" in literature, I didn't look forward to yet another story of the hardship, bitterness, plight and struggle of the American Negro. The book was panned because she didn't use her voice to try to advance the movement, and her fellow authors turned on her, as they thought she had turned on them.

    However, this is a story that celebrates community, rural living, family and, most of all, a woman choosing her own path in a day when she was still considered the property of her husband. This strong-willed woman could have been any color, but her being black added to the story, as opposed to shaping or forming the foundation of the story.

    The writing here is intelligent, lyrical and absolutely beautiful. It has insight, daring, courage and transports the reader in time. I was in the Everglades. I was on that store porch. I was in the big house. And I was on the dusty road, looking toward my next destination. Hurston was a writer...an author...and you should read this book simply because it is American literature at its finest.