Dorothy West: The Living is Easy (882 words)


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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 …

Citation: Jimoh, A Yemisi. "The Living is Easy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [, accessed 16 October 2021.]

310 The Living is Easy 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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