On the heels of the bestseller success of her novel The Wedding, Dorothy West, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, presents a collection of essays and stories that explore both the realism of everyday life, and the fantastical, extraordinary circumstances of one woman's life in a mythic time. Traversing the universal themes and conflicts between poverty and prosperity, men and women, and young and old, and compiling writing that spans almost seventy years, The Richer, The Poorer not only affords an unparalleled window into the African-American middle class, but also delves into the richness of experience of "one of the finest writers produced in this country during the Roaring Twenties"(Book Page).
Dorothy West founded the Harlem Renaissance literary magazine Challenge in 1934, and New Challenge in 1937, with Richard Wright as her associate editor. She was a welfare investigator and WPA relief worker in Harlem during the Depression. Her first novel, The Living Is Easy, appeared in 1948 and remains in print. He second novel, The Wedding, was a national bestseller and literary landmark when published in the winter of 1995. A collection of her stories and autobiographical essays, The Richer, The Poorer, appeared during the summer of 1995. She lives on Martha's Vineyard.
"West writes like a social historian, capturing significant moments that seem to alter lives forever or change nothing at all."--Los Angeles Times
"Unforced perfection . . . beautifully cadenced. West has shown the power of what is left unspoken."--Chicago Tribune
"Dorothy West is an epic storyteller."--Quarterly Black Review of Books