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Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My oldest son is finished his first, freshman semester of his advanced English course with an exam on Their Eyes Were Watching God, which was written by Zora Neale Hurston, who is one of my favorite authors. When he informed me that he needed the book, I became excited and disappointed.  I was excited because he would be experiencing real literary talent from the Harlem Renaissance. I was disappointed because even though I own numerous copies of this book, all of them are packed away deep in my storage unit.  ( I really miss seeing my books.)

Hearing my son say that he enjoyed reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. I appreciated how my son was able to recognize the work of a writer, who had inspired authors like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.

Due to traveling for my job and dealing with family emergencies, I have been unable to engage in "book talk" with my son about Their Eyes Were Watching God. I am hoping that during the holiday break, I am able to engage him in literary conversation about his analysis of the text.  I want to compare my analysis of the book with his and just chat about it.  Engaging in in-depth discussion about various literary texts is something that I miss since I no longer teach English.

I must say that my son was never tempted to watch the movie version of the book.  I even mentioned it once to him, and he did not take the bait.  I was so proud of him. He wanted to read the book, and he finished it without being entangled in the web of comparing the book to the movie.  So many students fall deep into this trap. He did not. He wanted to devour the text, and knowing this fact makes me very proud.

My children know that my love for reading is very serious.  Give me a book, as a  gift, and I am overjoyed.  Take me to a bookstore and allow me to sit undisturbed for hours, I am forever grateful.  However, when my children share my love for a book(s), like my son did for Their Eyes Were Watching God, "my cup runneth over."

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My love for books was instilled in me by my mother and father. When we traveled, we always found a bookstore or a library.  Because of this habit, I do the same thing when I travel.  My parents always read.  They read to us. They taught us how to read. They read in front of us.  To this day, I love seeing my father fall asleep with a book in his hand.  He is always reading and always learning.  To be able to share my love of Zora Neale Hurston and Their Eyes Were Watching God with my oldest son is such a blessing. I am trying to savor each and every moment with him.  Before I know it, he will be in college, and he will be away from "my nest."


Have you read Their Eyes Were Watching God? Who do you share you love of reading with?

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