Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is the focal point in this article for a discussion of "touristic reading," a process that occurs when a reader assumes a fictional text is an authentic and complete representation of its source culture. Although this can happen even when the ethnicity of the writer and reader match, the dynamic is often intensified when their ethnicities diff-that is, when readers read across ethnic (or other) boundaries. Folkloric content in fiction may make texts particularly vulnerable to such readings, but the presence of ethnographic material may also help undermine touristic readings, as evidenced by the resistant and subversive aspects of Hurston’s text.

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