Students at an elite school struggle with the pressures that come from family and friends.
This still stands as my favorite WDM work. Written as a screenplay interspersed with notes or journal entries, it is the story of Steve Harmon, a 16-year-old who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and faces murder charges as a result.
Jimmy’s father shows up out of nowhere after nine years, and takes him from his home in Harlem with Mama Jean to Chicago, where he has “work”. On the trip, Jimmy learns about his father and himself.
This is the sequel to Hoops.A young man from Harlem wins a scholarship to a college in Indiana, where he deals with making tough choices while faced with temptations and obstacles. In a nod to New Jersey, the college is “Montclare State” (note the spelling change).
Tracing the legacy of the Lewis family from 1753 to 1994, WDM is at the height of his powers as he tells the stories of five characters over many generations, from Africa to South Carolina, Chicago, and New York. These are wonderfully detailed portraits that reflect time, place and sensibilities in realistic and powerful ways. My favorite so far.