Hurston, Zora Neale
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co. 1937. Octavo, original orange cloth boards, black lettering to spine and front board. Bumping to edges and corners, expert repair to head and foot of spine, expert paper repair to gutter of opening pages, very light soiling to cloth. Small ink inscription of “Jan 11" to the front free endpaper, otherwise clean and unmarked. Without the scarce dust jacket.
Hurston's lyrical account of a poor black girl's transformation into an independent woman received mixed reviews upon publication, and remained out of print for decades, until Alice Walker's 1975 essay “Looking for Zora" sparked a revival of interest in Hurston's work. Their Eyes Were Watching God is now the most widely reprinted novel by any Harlem Renaissance writer, occupying a unique place in discussions of modernist fiction, feminist writing, and African-American folklore. “Years ago, she had told her girl self to wait for her in the looking glass. It had been a long time since she remembered. Perhaps she'd better look." A lovely copy of a notoriously fragile book, much nicer than usually found.