The Wake of the Wind

The Wake of the Wind

by J. California Cooper
4.8 31

Paperback(Reprint)

$10.65 $15.95 Save 33% Current price is $10.65, Original price is $15.95. You Save 33%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Wednesday, September 27 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.

Overview

The Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385487054
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 507,613
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Wake of the Wind 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When reading Cooper's books I am reminded of being a kid in the 1960's with a favorite Aunt telling stories to wide-eyed kids on a back porch on a warm summer night. You forget about the sound of crickets, cease seeing the fireflies and you are transported to another place and time. In The Wake of the Wind you can 'see' the characters. You can sense the essence of their souls. I and my wife would rush home from work to continue reading this important, imaginative work to each other. I can imagine that the end of slavery was both exciting and frightening confusing to all. What were the new roles? Where was home? Who and where is family? Cooper's work lets the reader see some possibilities and evokes clear images. She pays homage to the multi-generational aspect and effect on family. Cooper is a masterful story-teller. I could see, in my mind's eye, the family making their way along a passage that is somewhere around US Interstate Highway 10 today or what used to be called 'The Old Spanish Trail'. This book is beautiful and stays in my mind years after the first read. It's an American literary jewel. Time to read it again!
appleleaf More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. And I have pasted it on to other. Great work Ms. Cooper
SUG-AND-SPICE-LADY-GODIVA More than 1 year ago
Once again J.C.Cooper has suceeded in grabing the readers heart with a touching story. One that will make you see the true meaning of what family and love is all about. It truly reflects on the hardships that our ancestors had to encounter while struggling to be free and obtain a place that they can call home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rho2lake More than 1 year ago
I read this book I think about six or seven years ago. It was a book that I will never forget. I have since shared it with my friends, my family, and my boss. Everyone loved it. It has caused me to expect the best when I choose a novel...my standard has gone to a new level.Lifee was an example of the strong woman, mother, and friend that we all expire to become. It should be made into a movie, or a mini series for TV-1, or the Hallmark channel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story of two slaves who are forced to marry on the plantation but then fall in love. They build a wonderful life and take you on their journey to freedom following the abolishing of slavery. They acquire land and have children but wisely choose to hide their sucesses to the outside world, fearing they will be tormented, even killed, by the whites who are jealous. They meet and help many people on the way, welcoming others into their close-knit family...a warm, uplifting story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book. I agree with some, that at times the language was a bit 'preachy' and 'sappy'...More than that though, what touched me is the RAW and REAL emotion that Cooper brought to the fore. I finished it in tears...giving thanks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everything from J.C.C. is epic in my book. In my late teens this women set the bar for me and what i read. Little have come close. I look forward to reading her newest work. I actually heard her speak @ Morgan State University in Baltimore and no lie; i went home and broke up with my boyfriend. The things she said that day touched me like no other person has. She told the truth about life and it made me realize that i was lying to myself about the relationship i was in ....KUDO's to J.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is epic. Its a book for all ages, race and times, I stronglly disagree with the negative reviews, maybe they are not reading with understanding I urge them to go back and read it again, its about determintaion and strong will, and never giving up. J California Cooper has written a masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to strongly disagree with the negative reviewers on this book. This is one of the best books by one of best writers out there. Some of your reviewers need to read the book again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really really did NOT like this book! Having said that, I must admit it was not the storyline, so much as it was the writing style that turned me off. I loved the basic premise of the story and I think it is a story that should be heard, especially by young Black people today. It is about overcoming obstacles, never letting yourself believe that you can't do better or achieve greatness. It is about spending your time on working for a dream rather than making up excuses as to why it can't be done. It's about not being satisfied with just living. Its about working for a goal and helping others. There are many principles in the book that children should learn and learn early. For that reason, I give the book two stars. And only for that reason. However, the way Cooper writes (at least in this book, I have not read any of her other books) was downright insulting. Because I liked the basic story, I found myself wishing that someone else had told it. First of all, the book could have been half of the size it was. She repeated everything she said over and over and over again as if the reader did not get it the first time. For example, I was so sick of Mema saying, "I needs me a fambly...I'm so glad I gots me a fambly...Yall's my fambly now...". And that's just one example. There are many, many more instances where she repeats herself, so much that I thought I was reading a part of the book over and had to check my page number. Which brings me to another point. Her character portrayal was extremely underdeveloped and onesided. While, I'm sure that Mema wanted a family, I'm sure she had other fears and worries and layers to her personality that Cooper chose to ignore. All you ever really knew about Abby was that she wanted her own house to raise her children in. Even Mor and Lifee, the main characters, were way too perfect. They never did ANYTHING even slightly wrong (or human) throughout the whole book. They ALWAYS said the right things, ALWAYS responded correctly, NEVER made any mistakes. All of the people that they helped were perfect, except in one chapter, and those people were sooooo awful that it was comical (although I think it was intended to be comical). But it proves another point. All of the main characters were either all horribly and awfully bad or all "Mother-Theresa-good". And human beings are not like that. There were no layers to these peoples characters. I can see why other reviewers have said that Cooper sounded a little too preachy in this novel. She could have used her pages better by spending more time developing the other characters less time repeating herself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I READ THIS BOOK FOR ENGLISH CLASS, NOT KNOWING HOW POWERFUL THIS BOOK IS. THIS BOOK MADE ME APPRECIATE LIFE MORE, AND MADE ME SEE THAT WE AS AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE IT EXTRAORDINARY GOOD IN LIFE, THANKS TO OUR LIFEE AND MOR'S OF THE WORLD. I FELT FOR LIFEE AND MOR, BUT THIS BOOK ALSO MADE ME REALIZE HOW STRONG, AND INTELLIGENT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE. WE ARE THE FRUIT ON ANY TREE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do not know where ya'll get your critics from but whomever it is...*nevermind*...This critic just wasnt 'FEELING' the spirit of the characters. *shaking my head at that critic* Awesome BOOK....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wholeheartedly disagree with the Publishers Weekly. This book is anything but disappointing and after reading all of her books ranks as my favorite. This is a tale of courage, inner-strength and love through adversity at a time that worked so hard to repress and depress a whole cultures spirit. I know this is fiction, but Ms. Cooper often writes stories with lessons and this is yet another fantastic lesson of overcoming adversity and hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book but not Cooper's best work. She lost me in the end with so much sap. But, a great piece of work nonetheless that tells a great story of family and tenacity, both of which are Cooper's major themes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will grab you and not let you go... I felt as though, I was sitting on the porch and a part of this wonderfully endearing family. I cheered for them, I held my breath for them, I got angry with them.... But mostly I am glad I was a part of their lives if only through the pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read by this author and certainly will not be the last!! I felt as if I belonged to their 'family'. I could picture everything that she talked about and felt as if I felt their hardships as well. Thank you for this wonderful book you have created Ms. Cooper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story about two former slaves and how over several years they managed to survive through the worst of times.It is my view that critics,particularly white critics, are unable to fairly and honestly evaluate the works of Cooper in this book. It seems that many of them lack the sensitivity or understanding that would be necessary to be able to capture the feelings that are endured by the characters as they are portrayed in this work of art. To read this book and to capture the feelings that are conveyed in this novel is an unforgetable experience.One simply falls in love with the woman(Liefe)and honors the way she manages to keep her family on course to make a life for themselves in this land.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I HESITATED TO PURCHASE THE BOOK BECAUSE OF HER PREVIOUS SHORT STORY WRITING STYLE BUT TO MY SUPRISE I LOVED THE BOOK AND WAS ABLE TO GET AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE TO READ THE BOOK IVE READ ALL OF HER BOOKS AND ENJOYED THIS ONE THE BEST MY HATS ALWAYS OFF TO THIS WRITER SHE IS THE BEST I AM A READER OF MANY DIFFERENT AUTHORS BUT NONE COMPARE
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in tears by the end and couldn't put it down. For this African American history buff,' The Wake of the Wind' was a joy. I not only understood these characters' situation intellectually but I could FEEL their pain and CELEBRATE their joy. Too bad, naysayers still are unwilling to face this country's ugly legacy and still must have an equal number of 'good hearted' whites, in a story (true or not) to give credit where credit is due. 'The Wake of the Wind' makes it clear that though most unions between Black women and white men were rapes, their many, many offspring were accepted into the African American family fold. This work also makes it clear, that we have pioneered in defining 'family' in its broadest terms. I love this work of art (and this author in general) and plan to recommend it to friends and family and use it in my work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. You will not want to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. Do not listen to the critics. This author demonstrates a depth of understanding and compassion for the lives of so many that have struggled to prepare the way for so many of us. Keep writing because I and many others just can't stop reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a powerful and moving saga. We are strong and no matter what the obstacle - Love, family and community bound together are essential ingredients in the move for freedom. This book is a complete illustration.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So eloquently written... So refreshing...from start to FINISH! I just couldn't wait to pick it up again. What a wonderful and telling masterpiece. J. California wove such a enchanting story of the will to live and to help fellow brethren along the way...Life now, should be like it was back then...where there was a strong kinship to ones in the same race, regardless of bloodlines. I can't say enough about this piece...suspenseful, enlightening, refreshing, intriguing....in each phase, she painted the exact picture for the setting that particular phase was told in. Almost like a fairytale... A must read and share!
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE WAKE OF THE WIND WAS EXCELLENT. IT IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER READ ABOUT MY PEOPLE, AND WHAT THEY HAD TO GO THRU SO THAT WE CAN HAVE THE THINGS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED. I HOPE THERE ARE MORE TO COME