Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Richer, The Poorer: Stories, Sketches and Reminiscences
Dorothy West


An incredible collection of writing – both essays and short stories – spanning the long career of Dorothy West. This edition includes a new introduction by Diana Evans.

The stories contained here are as American as jazz, and as wise and multifaceted as their writer. Dorothy West’s metier is the unique crucible in which America places its black middle class, but her themes are universal: the daily misunderstandings between young and old, men and women, rich and poor that can lead to tragedy; and the ways in which bonds of family and community can bring us together, and tear us asunder. Dorothy West’s autobiographical essays explore the poles of her remarkable life – from growing up black and middle-class in Boston to her near-mythic trip to Moscow in 1933 with Langston Hughes and other Harlem Renaissance writers to life on her beloved Martha’s Vineyard. They cohere into a beautiful and poignant memoir of a singular American life, a memoir that communicates with her short stories in a host of fertile ways.

The Richer, The Poorer is a triumphant celebration of the long life and work of one of America’s genuine treasures.

Paperback, 288pp
Virago Press, 2019
ISBN 9780349012056