Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Narrated by Ruby Dee
  • 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in Black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates boldly and brilliantly African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a Black woman who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.Originally published in 1937 and long out of print, the book was reissued in 1975 and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel in American fiction.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: I loved this book when I read it, but it wasn't until I listened to Ruby Dee's performance that I realized how much I had missed. Hurston's book is filled with rural Florida dialect and vernacular that is hard to appreciate on the printed page, but becomes poetry in this glorious recording. Dee paints each character vividly with her rich and velvety voice. —Beth Anderson

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What the Critics Say

"For readers who know Hurston's work, this program will be a joy; for those who are lucky and wise enough to discover her here, it will be an exceptional experience." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a pleasure

This is the story of a woman struggling against the expectations of everyone in her life who is supposed to care for her; her grandmother, the man she wanted her to marry so she would have a "good life" but without love, and the man she ran off with to make a "better life" and what she thought was love, which turned out to be yet another disappointment. It is a bittersweet story, beautifully written with memorable, full-bodied, thought-provoking characters, and expertly read by Ruby Dee. I was pleasantly surprised from beginning to end. If you have a long, tedious project, pop this one in and you will be finished with both before you know it. Definitely recommend!
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- Leslie

Thank you Ruby Dee

I've tried to read Zora Neale Hurston before, gotten ten pages in thinking "wow, she really can write" then put the book down and never picked it up again.

In audio I was drawn in and listened happily to the end.

I think this happens a lot to me, that with the voice in my mind I could read other Hurston (or any of a dozen other authors) cheerfully.
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- Amanda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio