“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever in the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.”- Zora Neale Hurston
These are the words decorating the pages of one of my favorite books. It is an astounding opening to a well crafted story that reminisces over the struggles of a middle-aged Black woman and her marriages to three different men. Set in the South during a racially divided time, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a powerful love story teeming with hope, passion, and disappointment. The main character, Janie Crawford, becomes the talk of the town after she shoots and kills her third husband. Despite other’s viewpoints, Janie Crawford is a strong and proud character who is determined to live life unapologetically. Having experienced the scourge of poverty and the pain of heartbreak, Janie welcomes the opportunity for love – at all costs.
This powerful story was written in 1937 by African-American writer and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston is one of my favorite writers whose works inspired my love for literature. She authored several books during her lifetime and was influential in the Harlem Renaissance. Some of her other works include the following titles: Mules and Men, Dust Tracks on a Road, and Jonah’s Gourd Vine. Hurston’s works inspired other great authors including Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison and Alice Walker. However, she tragically died in 1960 while living in poverty and struggling to have her works published.
If you are interested in reading this book or other titles about Zora Neale Hurston, stop by the PSC Library.