Though she was born in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston’s legacy continues to resonate today. A celebrated writer, folklorist and anthropologist, Hurston is best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God published in 1937. Following protagonist Janie Crawford’s coming-of-age story, Their Eyes is recognized as a 20th-century literary classic.
In honor of Hurston’s birthday, we’ve gathered some of our favorite quotes below from Their Eyes. And if you’re looking for even more to read from Hurston, you’ll want to pick up the newest collection of stories by the beloved author. Titled Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, the book boasts eight “lost Harlem Renaissance tales now available to a wide audience for the first time” in addition to more well-known stories. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick releases on January 14th, and you can click here to pre-order it.
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
“Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.”
“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
“Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”
“No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.”
“If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk. It’s so many people never seen de light at all.”
Josh D. Jackson created the images for this list. He is a graphic designer based in Brooklyn, and you can view more of his work at his website.