…[N]ot long ago I sat down to dinner with an American woman who told me how disappointed she had been to finally read Middlemarch and find that it was “Just this long, whiny, trawling search for a man!” Those who read Middlemarch in that way will find little in Their Eyes Were Watching God to please them. It’s about a girl who takes some time to find the man she really loves. It is about the discovery of self in and through another. It implies that even the dark and terrible banality of racism can recede to a vanishing point when you understand, and are understood by, another human being.
- Zadie Smith, “Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean?”
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