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Publisher's Summary

This recently rediscovered and critically acclaimed 1937 novel tells the story of Janie Crawford, a long-legged, articulate, and fiercely independent African-American woman of the 1930s. Janie's quest for identity includes three marriages and a return to her roots. Despite her struggles, Janie never defines herself by regret, fear, or unrealistic dreams, and refuses to be anything but her own person. Read by actress Ruby Dee, this outstanding recording has been widely praised for its flawless adaptation of Hurston's classic.
©1937, 1965 Zora Neale Hurston (P)1997, 2000, 2004 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Ruby Dee does an excellent job of narrating Hurston's classic 1937 novel." (Library Journal)
"This audio succeeds in its rich descriptions and freshness of dialogue, delivering in terms that are alternately funny and moving." (Publishers Weekly)

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From the suffragettes of the 18th and 19th centuries to the #MeToo activists and glass-ceiling breakers still fighting for equality today, the feminist movement has evolved around the world for hundreds of years. Feminism that is intersectional and inclusive is more important than ever, with activists amplifying the voices of women whose struggles are compounded further by their race, identity, and class. Learn about gender equality with these quotes.

Editor's Pick

Zora Neale Hurston’s masterpiece—completely accessible
"Thank the literary gods I picked up Their Eyes Were Watching God before I knew it was ‘a classic’ written in 1937 and published years later. I loved the story of Janie Crawford, reared by her Grandmother, married to a respectable but incompatible husband, who comes into her own at age 38—love, loss, and great storytelling ensue. Because Hurston was an anthropologist as well as novelist, narrator Ruby Dee has rich language to work with in personifying unforgettable characters."
Christina H., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Their Eyes Were Watching God

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It is only 5 chapters!

This was a complete waste of my time. I needed all 20 chapters. It needs to be a description of how many chapters are in the audible.

40 people found this helpful

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Passages missing??????

Great reader and love this story. However, I’m pretty upset that there are so many sentences missing from the reading! Why would they do that?

3 people found this helpful

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A lovely performance!

If you could sum up Their Eyes Were Watching God in three words, what would they be?

Incredibly beautiful language!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Their Eyes Were Watching God?

When Nannie says "Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.”

Which scene was your favorite?

The opening scene, when Janie walks thru town and past all the gossipers.

Any additional comments?

Beautiful language and amazing performance!

6 people found this helpful

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Entirely excellent.

You can’t go wrong with “There Eyes Were Watching God.” Hurston takes on fundamental questions of life’s meaning, gender, race, and intimacy. And she does so in prose that is spare and honest.

1 person found this helpful

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This is a classic!

Ruby Dee's reading was magical, I felt as though I was in a theater. Janie grew so much in this novel.

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Beautifully Contrasting

Though it was expertly delivered, it did skip quite a bit of text. Overall, it was a beautifully contrasting story of tradition vs convention, duty vs desire, appearance vs reality, and the intricate way fear and vulnerability serve as both comrade and foe to love. The journey Janie's innocence takes as her curiosity leads her to self-discovery is riveting.

2 people found this helpful

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Their Eyes were Watching God

Brief, but poignant. Really worth hearing, although occasionally a little hard to understand the accents, for us northerners. This is already heading towards being considered a classic. An ideal audio selection.

4 people found this helpful

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Enthralling

Even though I had read this book many years ago, I decided to “read” it again particularly because it was narrated by Ruby Dee. I loved the imagery that Ms. Hurston wove into the story. Ms. Ruby Dee did an outstanding job bringing each of the characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was sorry for it to come to an end.

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well done

this is an excellent book. very well written on a topic that is hard to listen to. it was well worth it as the story line was spot on for lives of those in the past in the south. the narrator was brilliant. thank you!

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Riveting

This is the best audible book I have ever listened to in over a decade. Absolutely stunning and absorbing. I stopped everything and listened straight through.

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  • Clarion2020
  • 07-03-21

lovely little story

this is such a great insight into the issues of early 20th century Black America beautifully read. I loved it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-18

excellent

this was a wonderful rendering of life, it was narrated with such feeling and gave so much life to the story