Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God

(2095 words)
  • Helen Carr (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Zora Neale Hurston wrote her second and best-known novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, during an ethnographic field-visit to Haiti, collecting Haitian folklore during the day, and late into the night recreating the world of Eatonville, Florida, the all-black township in which she had grown up. The novel drew on her memories of its inhabitants’ rich folk culture, for which she saw many parallels in Haiti, but her immediate impetus for writing came in fact from an intense, abortive love-affair. In her autobiography, Hurston says the novel “was damned up in me . . . I wrote it under internal pressure in seven weeks”; within it, she says, she sought to “embalm all the tenderness of my passion” for her lover (Dust Tracks …

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Carr, Helen. "Their Eyes Were Watching God". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 July 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8257, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. African American Fiction