The Wake of the Wind
By J. California Cooper
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385487054, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 28, 1999
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A dramatic and thought-provoking novel of one family's triumph in the face of the hardships and challenges of the post-Civil War South.
The Wake of the Wind, J. California Cooper's third novel, is her most penetrating look yet at the challenges that generations of African Americans have had to overcome in order to carve out a home for themselves and their families. Set in Texas in the waning years of the Civil War, the novel tells the dramatic story of a remarkable heroine, Lifee, and her husband, Mor. When Emancipation finally comes to Texas, Mor, Lifee, and the extended family they create from other slaves who are also looking for a home and a future, set out in search of a piece of land they can call their own. In the face of constant threats, they manage not only to survive but to succeed--their crops grow, their children thrive, they educate themselves and others. Lifee and Mor pass their intelligence, determination, and talents along to their children, the next generation to surge forward. At once tragic and triumphant, this is an epic story that captures with extraordinary authenticity the most important struggle of the last hundred years.
J. California Cooper is the author of the novels Family and In Search of Satisfaction and five collections of short stories, including Homemade Love, winner of the 1989 American Book Award, and Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime. She is also the author of severnteen plays and has been honored as Black Playwright of the Year (1978), received the James Baldwin Writing Award (1988), and the Literary Lion Award from the American Librarby Association (1988). She lives in Gualala, California.
"A vivid picture of struggle and survival."
--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Rendered with compassion and beautiful simplicity."
--The Washington Post Book World
"Heartwarming....Cooper knows the cadences of folktale well."
"[A] provocative and at times painful family portrait....It should be required reading."
--Detroit Free Press