Dorothy West: The Living is Easy

(882 words)

When Dorothy West's first novel, The Living Is Easy, was published in 1948, the United States was emerging from the war years and was still haunted by the collapse of its economy in the 1930s. During these decades, black writers were encouraged by publishers to move away from questions of social justice, even though the period saw persistent racialized social unrest. Prevailing social policies in the United States and its publishing industry during the 1940s emphasized an ideology which Philip Butcher, in a 1948 review of West's novel in Opportunity magazine, referred to as “raceless writers”. Dorothy West's title for her novel, The Living Is Easy, suggests that she was aware of this optimistic mood, even as …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Jimoh, A Yemisi. "The Living is Easy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 05 October 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. African American Fiction