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When Washington Was in Vogue: A Love Story
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When Washington Was in Vogue: A Love Story

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A literary event, this love story was written and set in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance and is being published in book form for the very first time.

In the tradition of Dorothy West's The Wedding and Nella Larsen's Passing, When Washington Was in Vogue casts a loving but critical eye on Black high society of 1920s Washington, D.C. A novel told in letters, this sly,
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Amistad (first published January 1st 2004)
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Kristen
A neat book that speaks of DC in its heyday for African Americans. The book was written to prove that the U Street area was every bit as fun and full of culture and high-living as 125th Street in NY. It's told through a series of letters (without the accompanying responses); many of the letters address important social issues of the day. I thought that style was very inventive and clever -- a good way to raise awareness without getting too preachy or having to artificially weave incidents into a ...more
Michelle
Having no idea what to expect, I found When Washington was in Vogue to be a fascinating, first-hand picture into an era that was pivotal for both ethnic and gender diversity. At first, the subject matter is decidedly uncomfortable. I am not the target audience. In fact, having grown up in the 80s and 90s, I was taught to ignore the issue of race because race does not impact how I interact with others. However, with this novel, I not only could not ignore this issue, I was forced to deal with ver ...more
Lauren
An epistolary novel originally published in serial format in the 1920s, the manuscript was “lost” until a graduate student accidentally stumbled upon it in the 1990s and decided the world needed to read about Davy Carr and his introduction to the Black bourgeoisie of Washington, D.C. It’s a fluffy, light-hearted story that is light on plot but full of description (perhaps too much) and engaging characters. In particular, Caroline, the dark-skinned younger daughter of Davy’s landlord, sparkles, j ...more
SunnyD
this was a difficult read for me...a book club selection. i just couldn't get into it. it's a story told through letters, during the harlem reniassance but set in washington DC. the writer of the letters is writing to his friend back in harlem about all his experiences in DC among the black elite crowd. he fits right in as he is stuffy too. although i'll give him credit for the fact that he did not 'pass' as he could have. that was not something many people chose to do at that time if the option ...more
Vzenari
The book focusses too much on descriptions of parties and the predictable resolution of love plots to allow me to assign three stars. Those interested in American society in the 1920s and in African-American society in particular, this book may be worth reading. The introduction to the book outlines the book's significance in the field of Harlem Renaissance studies (i.e., the book is set in Washington, not New York, and is an epistolary novel with no white characters at all).
Cheryl
I FOUND THE BOOK MILDLY INTERESTING. DAVY'S DIMNESS REGARDING WOMEN IS SOMEWHAT ALARMING GIVEN HIS EDUCATION AND WORLDLINESS. DON'T THEE PEOPLE WORK? ARE THEY ALL A BUNCH OF BOOTLEGGERS? THE CHARACTER INTERACTIONS ARE SO SOPHOMORIC AND TEDIOUS THAT THEY REMIND ME OF MIDDLE SCHOOL EXCEPT THESE PEOPLE HAVE A BETTER COMMAND OF THE LANGUAGE. THAT DAVY ENDS UP WITH CAROLINE IS NO SURPRISE; SHE IS OBVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR "DADDY" JUDGING FROM HER FONDNESS FOR DATING DOCTORS WHO, BY DEFINITION, CAN AND DO ...more
Bebe20018
This was a change of pace for me but I enjoyed it. It's a very different kind of falling in love story, maybe because of the time it took place 1922 or because of the way it is told, through letters written to a friend.
Dana
I found this at "Frugal Muse" and bought it out of desperation to find something...the description of the book compares it to the Great Gatsby...it was written during the Harlem Renaissance and was interesting from a historical perspective. The story line was a little "loopy", but I did like reading it...some parts made me chuckle as was intended...
Sienna
Besides a hurried and cheesy ending, this book is FLAWLESS. It has to be the best book I have read in years, and it takes place during the Harlem Renaissance. It battles racism, literature, and love, all in 300 pages, and it is magnificient.
Elizabeth
I loved this book. A fun story, fun to read about Washington in the 1920s, and interesting to get it all from the African American perspective.
Megan
What a find - just like a Jane Austin novel, but written for the African-American community at the turn of the century. So cute and predictable.
Nmartino
Interesting story about middle class African Americans in the 1920's in Washington, DC.
Ayelet Waldman
Lovely old Harlen renaissance novel.
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