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The Richer, the Poorer

by Dorothy West

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).

The Wedding: A Novel

by Dorothy West

In her first novel in forty-seven years, Dorothy West, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, offers an intimate glimpse into African American middle class. Set on bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s,The Weddingtells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions. " Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community. With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family's struggle to break the shackles of race and class.

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