By the time of her death in 1960, Zora Neale Hurston’s literary work was falling out of fashion with critics because it did not seem to fit in anywhere with the civil rights movement or the politics of oppressed peoples. Owing to the author’s impoverished circumstances, she was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida. Today Hurston is regarded as one of the greatest American novelists of the twentieth century and a unique voice in the history of African-American literature.
As part of the Library’s celebration of Black History Month, the Book Club is reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, considered by many readers to be her masterwork. Set in central and southern Florida in the 1930s, Their Eyes Were Watching God combines Black folklore and dialect to tell a story at once realistic and mythic. While frequently labeled an “African American feminist classic,” “the syncopated beauty of Hurston’s prose, her remarkable gift for comedy, the sheer visceral terror of the book’s climax, all transcend any label that critics have tried to put on this remarkable work.”*
The Library owns four copies of the book (click here and here to check for availability), which is also a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection. An excellent reader’s guide to the novel is available on the Big Read website.
The discussion will take place on Thursday, February 27 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Distance students and faculty are invited to join us via Google Hangouts. Here is the Library’s permanent link for all Hangout events: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c0lnc83s5ok7tecuqdcnjg0mcno?authuser=0&eid=100028809078157626561&hl=en.
For more information about the Library Book Club, including a current schedule, see our new webpage or contact Harold Henkel at email@example.com.
*National Endowment for the Arts website, http://www.neabigread.org/books/theireyes/.