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0252017781Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Urbana. 1991. University Of Illinois Press. 231 pages. hardcover. 0252017781. Cover illustration by Jerry Pinkney.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘There is no book more important to me than this one.’ - Alice Walker. When first published in 1937, this novel about a proud, independent black woman was generally dismissed by male reviewers. It was out of print for almost thirty years hut since its reissue in a paperback edition by the University of Illinois Press in 1978 has become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. Now, with the publication of this richly illustrated deluxe edition, a novel by a black woman is accorded the kind of treatment usually reserved for white male writers. Mesmerizing in its immediacy and haunting in its subtlety, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD tells the story of Janie Crawford - fair-skinned, long-haired, dreamy woman - who comes of age expecting better treatment than what she gets from her three husbands and community. Then she meets Tea Cake, a younger man who captivates Janie’s heart and spirit, and offers her the chance to relish life without being one man’s mule or another man’s adornment. ‘I urge you to read THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD. This extraordinary fictional achievement is now considered the finest black novel of its time (and surely it is one of the finest of all time). THEIR EYES belongs in the category with [the novels] of William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway – of enduring American literature.’ - Doris Grumbach, Saturday Review.

 

Hurston Zora NealeZORA NEALE HURSTON (1901-60) was a novelist, folklorist, anthropologist, and author of five novels, a folktale collection, numerous short stories, and an autobiography. THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is considered her most outstanding achievement.

 

 

 

 

 

JERRY PINKNEY has won numerous awards for his illustrations, particularly of children’s books, and has illustrated limited-edition books by writers including William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, James Michener, and Vladimir Nabokov.

RUBY DEE wrote and starred in the 1990 PBS television program ‘Zora Is Mv Name!’

SHERLEY ANNE WILLIAMS, a leading poet, is professor of English at the University of California at San Diego. For this edition she has greatly expanded upon a prefatory piece initially written for the 1978 paperback edition.

 

 


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