The tranquility of a late summer weekend in 1953 is shattered by a tragic accident in this spare, affecting novel by one of the last surviving members of the Harlem Renaissance ... Through the ancestral histories of the Coles family, West subtly reveals the ways in which color can burden and codify behavior. The author makes her points with a delicate hand, maneuvering with confidence and ease through a sometimes incendiary subject ... a triumph.
This story of delicately drawn, but crushing conflicts - between black and white, the North and the South, freedom and duty - build to a shattering climax. Once read, it's impossible to forget.
In The Wedding, West brilliantly portrays the ferocity of class, race, and gender distinctions within family, groups, and generations
You have only to read the first page to know that you are in the hands of a writer, pure and simple. At the end, it's as though we've been invited not so much to a wedding as to a full-scale opera, only to find that one great artist is belting out all the parts. She brings down the house
West is a wonderful storyteller, painting vivid and memorable scenes of the life and plight of African Americans from slavery to the fifties. The Wedding is an engrossing tale
A writer of huge compassion and acute observation, and also of dazzling style . . . Her work is more relevant than ever