Litwin, Laura Baskes A Reader’s Guide to Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God
Enslow 2010 128p 31.93
978-0-7660-3164-7 ms/hs VG
A basic introduction to Zora Neale Hurston including her life and education, as well as her legacy affirming African-American culture. This is a welcome resource for students that may need assistance studying the author. The Readers’ Guide will give the reader an understanding of the plot and characters and the African American culture at that time.
The first section of the book is a brief biographical sketch and has an explanation of the importance of Hurston’s contribution to African-American literature. This section includes an anecdote about Alice Walker searching for her unmarked grave and after finding it, providing a headstone for it. The headstone is inscribed with the words, “Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.”
The body of the book follows the convention of literary analysis containing: a plot summary and analysis, several chapters of character studies, a summary of critical reviews, the major and minor themes, and a separate chapter on folklore and language. As an anthropologist Hurston studied African-American folklore and her work with Franz Boas is mentioned here. There is also a final chapter on her legacy.
The layout of the book is bright and clear with a moderate sized font and extra spacing between lines which will help with readability. Numerous photographs are used to illustrate the book.
Additional information includes an annotated bibliography of Hurston’s other work, a chronology, chapter notes, a list of major works, a glossary, additional sources both print and web and a good index.
Highly recommended for middle school and up for an introduction to the author and her most famous work. Spadaro(1), Trish
African-American women in literature - Hurston, Zora Neale