WorldCat Identities

West, Dorothy 1907-1998

Works: 51 works in 232 publications in 4 languages and 14,490 library holdings
Genres: Fiction  Domestic fiction  Biography  Biographies  Records and correspondence  Sources  Feminist fiction  Nonfiction television programs  Biographical television programs  Documentary television programs 
Roles: Author, Editor, Bibliographic antecedent
Classifications: Z5781, 813.54
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Dorothy West
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Most widely held works by Dorothy West
The wedding by Dorothy West( Book )

42 editions published between 1995 and 2019 in 3 languages and held by 2,683 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the 1950s, a girl from the black bourgeoisie in Martha's Vineyard announces her engagement to a white musician. The novel follows the impact this has on her family and the community around them. By the author of The Living Is Easy
Play index( )

in English and held by 1,895 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Indexes over 30,000 plays from the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world, published between 1949 and 2005. The database covers plays written in or translated into English, published either separately or in collections
The living is easy by Dorothy West( Book )

41 editions published between 1948 and 2013 in English and held by 1,381 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"No one is safe from Cleo Jericho Judson's manipulations, and no one can stand in the way of her determination to win a place for her daughter and her sisters' children in Boston's black society. Yet forces larger than Cleo eventually wrench the control of events from her and threaten her dream of a time and place where the living is easy."--Back cover
The last leaf of Harlem : selected and newly discovered fiction by the author of The wedding by Dorothy West( Book )

4 editions published between 2007 and 2008 in English and held by 340 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

When Dorothy West died in 1998, she was the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, a contemporary of Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. Popular history holds that between the publication of her two novels (The Living is Easy in 1948 and The Wedding in 1995), Dorothy West fell silent. In fact, there was never a time in Dorothy West's life in which she was not writing and publishing. The Last Leaf of Harlem gathers West's writing from these supposedly silent years--syndicated fiction in the New York Daily News, pieces for the Work Progress Administration's Federal Writer's Project, and publications in small journals and magazines--along with known and beloved pieces by this extraordinary writer. Many of these stories, describing and exploring marriage, loss, family life, and poverty were lost until now. The Last Leaf of Harlem brings together the almost-forgotten pieces of Dorothy West's lifework, and gives the reader a fresh look into a remarkable writer and career.-Publisher's description
The wedding by Dorothy West( Recording )

8 editions published between 1998 and 2008 in English and held by 131 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Shelby Coles' marriage to a white jazz musician sends shockwaves through her upper class African American community on Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s
Jump at the sun by Kristy Andersen( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 125 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Zora Neale Hurston, path-breaking novelist, pioneering anthropologist and one of the first black women to enter the American literary canon (Their eyes were watching God), established the African American vernacular as one of the most vital, inventive voices in American literature. This definitive film biography, eighteen years in the making, portrays Zora in all her complexity: gifted, flamboyant, and controversial but always fiercely original. Zora Neale Hurston: jump at the sun intersperses insights from leading scholars and rare footage of the rural South (some of it shot by Zora herself) with re-enactments of a revealing 1943 radio interview. Hurston biographer, Cheryl Wall, traces Zora's unique artistic vision back to her childhood in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black incorporated town in the U.S. There Zora was surrounded by proud, self-sufficient, self-governing black people, deeply immersed in African American folk traditions. Her father, a Baptist preacher, carpenter and three times mayor, reminded Zora every Sunday morning that ordinary black people could be powerful poets. Her mother encouraged her to "jump at de' sun," never to let being black and a woman stand in the way of her dreams. Zora's mother died when she was thirteen and for the next fifteen years she hustled, moving from place to place, taking odd jobs as a maid or waitress. Finally, at 28, she achieved her goal of entering Howard University where she began to write. In 1925, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, she arrived in New York "with $1.50 in my pocket and a lot of hope." Novelist Dorothy West, doyenne of that generation, remembers her as the self-anointed "queen" of the "niggerati," a term Zora coined. She became a close friend and collaborator of Langston Hughes, a Mid-westerner who found in Zora a link to the Southern black experience. Zora next entered Barnard, becoming its first black graduate and a protege of Franz Boas, the father of modern anthropology. He obtained a fellowship for her to document the disappearing folklore of the rural South. She returned to Eatonville with "a camera and pearl-handled revolver," launching her career as one of the leading ethnologists of African American culture. She recorded over 200 blues and folk songs with legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress and filmed "religious ecstasy" in the "sanctified" churches of Beaufort, South Carolina with anthropologist Margaret Mead. Zora combined her skill as a trained anthropologist with an inherent respect for the syncretic culture formerly enslaved people had created in the Americas. Where some saw superstition and ignorance, she saw people creating meaning and joy in the few spaces left open to them by white society. Her ethnographic research lay the groundwork for the books and plays which secured her place as an essential voice in American letters. Zora was not ashamed to show everyday African American life, the life of rail yards, "juke" joints and the front porch of the Eatonville general store. Her work unabashedly embraced "incorrect" black English and celebrated the eloquence of its rhythms and rhetoric. Harvard scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr, names her most famous novel, Their eyes were watching God, a classic because its use of black vernacular immerses readers in the consciousness of an oppressed people, exuberantly expressing their freedom, creativity and individual worth through everyday speech. While Zora's writing was by and large well received by the white press, it roused discomfort, if not outright hostility, from the emerging black intelligentsia. Her uncensored pictures of black life and speech, embarrassed some. Black writers were expected to confront their white readers with the injustice of racism as exemplified in Richard Wright's seminal novel Native Son. But Zora's work is notably absent of white characters; she refused to write "protest novels" portraying blacks as victims. In the film, biographer Valerie Boyd suggests that while Wright represents the angry, sometimes self-destructive, side of the African American character, Zora expresses the exuberant resilience of black culture. As the Civil Rights struggle gained momentum after World War II, Zora found herself increasingly out of step with her people. A boot-strap Republican and fervent anti-communist, she denounced the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education integration decision as "insulting to black people." No court needed to order white people to associate with her; bigots were simply denying themselves the "pleasure of my company" and the riches of African American culture. A turning point in Zora's life came when she was falsely accused of molesting two pre-adolescent African American boys. Although the charges were thrown out of court, she was pilloried in the black press. Devastated, even suicidal, feeling her reputation ruined, she claimed, "My own race has sought to destroy me." She lived out her life in relative obscurity and poverty in Florida. She died in 1960 at age 69 and was buried in an unmarked grave, leaving behind numerous unpublished works and seven out of print books. As the reassessment of America's literary canon has expanded to include the works of women and people of color, Zora Neale Hurston has been rediscovered. Alice Walker and Maya Angelou both recall how her work inspired their own while a younger generation of writers follow Zora's lead to speak in their own voices without shame
Wojokeso : sentence, paragraph, and discourse analysis by Dorothy West( Book )

7 editions published in 1973 in English and held by 97 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

As I remember it : a portrait of Dorothy West( Visual )

8 editions published between 1991 and 1998 in English and held by 92 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

From the perspective of her 83 years, the still-active African-American writer Dorothy West relates her memories of growing up black, privileged and enthralled by literature
Race, gender, & comparative Black modernism : Suzanne Lacascade, Marita Bonner, Suzanne Cé́saire, Dorothy West by Jennifer M Wilks( )

8 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 74 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Race, Gender, and Comparative Black Modernism revives and critiques four African American and Francophone Caribbean women writers often overlooked in discussions of early-twentieth-century literature: Guadeloupean Suzanne Lacascade (dates unknown), African American Marita Bonner (1899-1971), Martinican Suzanne Cesaire (1913-1966), and African American Dorothy West (1907-1998). Reexamining their most significant work, Jennifer M. Wilks demonstrates how their writing challenges prevailing racial archetypes such as the New Negro and the Negritude hero of the period from the 1920s to the 1940s, and explores how these writers tapped into modernist currents from expressionism to surrealism to produce progressive treatments of race, gender, and nation that differed from those of currently canonized black writers of the era, the great majority of whom are men." "Wilks begins with Lacascade, whom she deems "best known for being unknown," reading Lacascade's novel Claire-Solange, ame africaine (1924) as a proto feminist, proto-Negritude articulation of Caribbean identity. She then examines the fissures left unexplored in New Negro visions of African American community by showing the ways in which Bonner's essays, plays, and short stories highlight issues of economic class. Cesaire applied the ideas and techniques of surrealism to the French language, and Wilks reveals how her writings in the journal Ttopiques (1941-45) directly and insightfully engage the intellectual influences that informed the work of canonical Negritude. Wilks's close reading of West's The Living Is Easy (1948) provides a retrospective critique of the forces that continued to circumscribe women's lives in the midst of the social and cultural awakening presumably embodied in the New Negro." "To show how the black literary tradition has continued to confront the conflation of gender roles with social and literary conventions, Wilks examines these writers alongside the late-twentieth-century writings of Maryse Conde and Toni Morrison. Unlike many literary analysts, Wilks does not bring together the four writers based on geography. Lacascade and Cesaire came from different Caribbean islands, and though Bonner and West were from the United States, they never crossed paths. In considering this eclectic group of women writers together, Wilks reveals the analytical possibilities opened up by comparing works influenced by multiple intellectual traditions."--Jacket
New challenge( )

in English and held by 63 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Purchased with funds granted by the Embassy of the United States of America
Challenge( )

in English and held by 53 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

New challenge. v.1-2, no. 2; Mar. 1934-fall 1937( Book )

1 edition published in 1970 in English and held by 29 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Challenge( )

in English and held by 20 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The last leaf of Harlem : the uncollected works of Dorothy West by Dorothy West( Book )

1 edition published in 2007 in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The last leaf of Harlem : selected and newly discovered fiction by the author of The wedding by Dorothy West( )

1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Newly discovered and lost stories written by Harlem Renaissance Icon Dorothy West. Many of these stories were locked away in the archives of the Library of Congress
The richer, the poorer : stories, sketches, and reminiscences by Dorothy West( Book )

7 editions published between 1995 and 1997 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Seventeen stories of fiction and non-fiction. The story, Mammy, is on color discrimination among blacks, Jack in the Pot is about a woman on welfare whose lottery win only brings problems, and in The Penny, a boy rats on his parents to make money
Ngko talili'-niye hungkunofoho by Ethel Emily Wallis( Book )

1 edition published in 1973 in Papuan and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Hwaho mofehi'nyo hamno yo'mayoso'ne hungkunofoho = The talk about the ground, sun, moon and things by Marlys Larsen( Book )

1 edition published in 1973 in Papuan and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Where the wild grape grows : selected writings, 1930-1950 by Dorothy West( Book )

3 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Despite her strong associations with Massachusetts - her upbringing in Roxbury, her lifelong connection with Martha's Vineyard, and two novels documenting the Great Migration and the rise and decline of Boston's African American community - Dorothy West (1907-1998) is perhaps best known as a member of the Harlem Renaissance."
The wedding( Visual )

1 edition published in 1998 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The bride is the great-great-granddaughter of a slave owner on one side and the great-great-granddaughter of a slave on the other. She is forced to confront truths about herself and her family's hidden secrets just days before her scheduled Martha's Vineyard wedding to a white jazz musician
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Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.19 (from 0.03 for Race, gend ... to 0.99 for West, Doro ...)

The wedding
The living is easyThe last leaf of Harlem : selected and newly discovered fiction by the author of The weddingThe weddingRace, gender, & comparative Black modernism : Suzanne Lacascade, Marita Bonner, Suzanne Cé́saire, Dorothy WestThe last leaf of Harlem : the uncollected works of Dorothy WestThe richer, the poorer : stories, sketches, and reminiscencesWhere the wild grape grows : selected writings, 1930-1950
Alternative Names
Christopher, Mary 1907-1998

Christopher, Mary 1909-1998

Dorothy West Amerikaans romanschrijfster (1907-1998)

Dorothy West écrivain américaine

Dorothy West escritora estadounidense

Dorothy West scrittrice statunitense

Dorothy West US-amerikanische Schriftstellerin

Дороти Уэст

דורותי וסט סופרת אמריקאית

دوروثي الغربية كاتبة أمريكية

English (206)

French (7)

Papuan (2)

German (1)