Short Subjects

Posted April 26, 2007

Their Eyes Were Watching God

A novel affair

At the start of each year, readers who participate in One book - One Island vote for a favorite book out of several nominated by the Bunch of Grapes bookstore, which runs the program. This year, the adult winner was "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston, a book about an African American woman and her struggles with relationships and reputation in the small town she lives in.

The children's category winner was "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy," by Gary Schmidt. It tells the story of a Boston youth who has to move to an isolated island off the coast of Maine in 1912. He and his new friend, Lizzie Bright, join forces to save the island community from being a tourist trap.

This past week, there have been several discussions of the two books at the Oak Bluffs library, and there is one more event this Friday. Glenda Carpio, professor of American literature at Harvard University, will present "Zora Neale Hurston: Her Life and Work," at 7:30 pm at the library. From her birth in Eatonville, Florida, in 1891, to studying at Howard University and with anthropologist Franz Boas, to receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship that she used to travel to Haiti and write "Their Eyes Were Watching God" in seven weeks, Ms. Hurston's life was full and productive and must have been exciting. Learn more about her on Friday.

One book - One Island event: Glenda Carpio presents Zora Neale Hurston: Her Life and Work, 7:30 pm, Friday, April 27. Oak Bluffs library, 56 School Street. Free. 508-693-9433.


Hopper, close-up

The Tisbury Travel Club will be off to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston on Wednesday, May 9 for a special exhibit of Edward Hopper's work.

Hopper (1882-1967) gained recognition for his scenes of American life that evoke feelings of loneliness such as his popular "Nighthawks". He did not romanticize small town life.

The travel club is a non-profit club that offers Islanders safe, comfortable, and affordable day trips. The club trips are open to everyone.

The MFA trip costs $40 and includes round-trip coach to Boston and admission to the special Hopper exhibit. There will be plenty of time to explore the gift shop and to have lunch at one of the three museum dining options. Take the 8:15 ferry from Vineyard Haven and return on the 5:45 pm (boat ticket is not included in the price).

Don't miss this chance to see the work of a great American painter and spend a fun day in Boston.

MFA trip, Wednesday, May 9, call Sandy Whitworth at the Tisbury Senior Center, 508-696-4205. Also, ask about the June 14 trip to Newport, R.I.

If you are here, sing out

The Minnesingers are planning a 40th reunion on Sunday, August 26. Are you an alum? Join in. A weekend of activities is now being planned.

The reunion group is looking for information on Minnesingers from the years 1967 through 1989. If you are in that category, send your name, address, phone, e-mail address to Barbara Lopes at: or to Pam Butterick at: You may also call Annemarie Reid at 508-693-4105.