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Extended Audio Sample The Wedding, by Dorothy West Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,397 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dorothy West Narrator: Regina Taylor Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From Dorothy West, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, The Wedding is an intimate glimpse into African American middle class. Set on bucolic Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s, this is the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast’s black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of “blue-vein society,” we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from “a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions.” Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community.

With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family’s struggle to break the shackles of race and class.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Carol | 2/19/2014

    " This short novel covered an immense amount of ground without every feeling overstuffed or superficial. The Wedding is also absolutely American in subject matter and feel. It is a portrait of the Coles, a wealthy African-American family in the 1950s, as they vacation at their Martha's Vineyard summer home and prepare for the upcoming wedding of their younger daughter Shelby. West perfectly captures the warm, languid feel of a New England late summer of leisure as well as the loving comforts and frictions of familial bonds. West also does a lovely job of weaving together the present day with vignettes from the characters' pasts and the longer saga of the family's history. These stories provide a probing illustration of issues of race, complexion, class, and social status. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ariadne | 2/17/2014

    " In addition to treating the complexities of race and class quite well, West use of language painted the most vivid images that I have ever experienced in reading a book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sharan | 2/15/2014

    " Taut, precise prose...renders characters brilliantly, laying them bare with language that thrums, sings, singes--like lightning passed through the room. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shayna | 2/10/2014

    " One of my favorite books EVER!! Ms. West certainly outdid herself with this one. The story of Shelby's family sounded like mine, so I really connected with that character. "

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