The Richer, the Poorer

The Richer, the Poorer

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by Dorothy West
     
 

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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

Overview

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).


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawing on a career spanning almost 70 years, this selection of fiction and essays provides an overview of the work of one of the enduring figures of the Harlem Renaissance. (July)
Library Journal
True, West just made waves with her second novel, The Wedding (LJ 12/94)-published 46 years after she debuted with The Living Is Easy-but she is best known for her short stories. This last living member of the Harlem Renaissance here collects all her classic short works and augments them with some autobiographical sketches.
Brad Hooper
West is the last surviving participant in the Harlem Renaissance, the explosion of black arts and literature centered in Harlem between the two world wars. Her recent novel, "The Wedding" , which was her first publication in more than 40 years, scored high marks with critics and the reading public alike. Arriving in its wake is a compilation of West's short stories and autobiographical essays. This book may be somewhat a lesser work than "The Wedding" and her other novels, but it's still remarkable reading. That West was an excellent writer early in her life is evidenced in her first story, written at age 17, "The Typewriter." But two of the best stories included in this collection are "The Roomer" and "The Richer, the Poorer." "The Roomer" features a woman who has to explain to her tight husband an extravagant purchase--a new winter coat. "The Richer, the Poorer" is a delicious parable about two sisters, one who saves for a rainy day, the other who doesn't; but it's the former sister not the latter who has regrets--that she has kept her money but has done no living. The autobiographical essays address issues of her childhood and of the present, from her splendid summers as a girl on Martha's Vineyard (in "Fond Memories of a Black Childhood" ) to a recent frightening flight from Boston to the Vineyard (in "The Flight" ).
From the Publisher
"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307754912
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/12/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
648,714
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

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.  Her 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 died in August 1998, at the age of 91.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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