Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston
Why this book?
I remember reading this book in college and it hitting me like a lightning bolt. I loved her style and the flow of her language. Later I found out that Hurston had been to Haiti, the country of my birth and childhood, and she had written a book about voodoo. She also lived in Central Florida where I lived—so I felt an affinity with her landscape, her south. I could recognize the places and the people she was talking about. She was a trailblazer and a real outsider. She was repudiated by the other great African American writers of her generation like Richard Wright. Her politics were complicated and libertarian, but I think that is also her power: she had a unique vision.
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