Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook
The rediscovery of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, first published in 1937 but subsequently out-of-print for decades, marks one of the most dramatic chapters in African-American literature and Women’s Studies. Its popularity owes much to the lyricism of the prose, the pitch-perfect rendition of black vernacular English, and the memorable characters–most notably, Janie Crawford. Collecting the most widely cited and influential essays published on Hurston’s classic novel over the last quarter century, this Casebook presents contesting viewpoints by Hazel Carby, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Barbara Johnson, Carla Kaplan, Daphne Lamothe, Mary Helen Washington, and Sherley Anne Williams. The volume also includes a statement Hurston submitted to a reference book on twentieth-century authors in 1942. As it records the major debates the novel has sparked on issues of language and identity, feminism and racial politics, A Casebook charts new directions for future critics and affirms the classic status of the novel.