Understanding Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 176 pages

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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Literary Analysis
The Role
Adams EbonicsLanguage or Dialect?
Jami Benton How the Piney Woods Came to
Race Relations
The Blues Tradition
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (1999)

NEAL A. LESTER is Professor of English at Arizona State University, where he teaches African American literature. He is the author of Ntozake Shange: A Critical Study of the Plays (1995), and has published on Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lonne Elder.

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