Like other writers of the Great Depression, whose reputations are now being given a rehabilitative new look, Miss Lumpkin has remained known only to serious students of American literature and has been underappreciated until now, as readers of The Wedding, her third novel, will know. According to Lillian Gilkes, Miss Lumpkin deserves to be studied in college courses, along with her Southern compeers: Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O’Connor. The Wedding is a significant addition to the small shelf of the American novel of manners. It is permanently valuable as social history, but it is also a perfectly controlled work of literary art. As in the novels of Jane Austen, nothing exciting happens in the most convincing way. The story is literally nothing but an account of the marriage of Jennie Middleton, the eldest living daughter of a ruined aristocratic family in 1909 who live by the code of the Confederacy, and Dr. Gregg, from their quarrel the night before the wedding to the description of the ceremony going off on schedule despite it.
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