Understanding Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God highlights the vitality of African American culture. This casebook demonstrates how African Americans fashioned themselves individually and collectively to combat racism, classism, and sexism. With provocative documents that contextualize the complex issues of the novel, Lester provides an excellent resource for students and teachers first approaching the excitement and cultural flavor that define Hurston's novels.

The casebook is an encyclopedia of African American folk culture that simultaneously presents historical, political, and social commentary on the relationships between men and women and between blacks and whites in America. Documents include interviews with people living in the South at the time of the novel's publication, poetry, rap, folktales, and sermons. Also included are original materials on ebonics, minstrel songs, the blues tradition, the novel in theatrical and dance performance, and materials on Hurston's hometown of Eatonville, Florida.

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Editorial Reviews

Readings shed light on Hurston's novel. They demonstrate how African Americans fashioned themselves individually and collectively to combat racism, classism, and sexism, and present historical, political, and social commentary on the relationships between men and women as well as between blacks and whites. Included are interviews with people living at the time of Hurston's novel's publication, poetry, folk tales, and sermons. The editor is a professor of English at Arizona State University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

NEAL A. LESTER is Professor of English at Arizona State University, where he teaches African American literature.

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Table of Contents


Selected Bibliography on Zora Neale Hurston

Literary Analysis

"Lords of Sounds and Lesser Things": The Role of Language

"Women and Chillun and Chickens and Cows": Male and Female Relations

"Find Out if They's White or Black": Race Relations

"Singing and Sobbing": The Blues Tradition


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