Dorothy West was a leading light of the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1930s. She founded literary magazines Challenge and New Challenge, with Richard Wright as her associate editor. She was a welfare investigator and relief worker in Harlem during the Depression. Her first novel, The Living is Easy, was published in 1948. Her second novel, The Wedding, was published nearly half a century later, in 1995, and was a bestseller. This was followed by The Richer, The Poorer, a rich collection of stories and essays that spanned her long life. She died in 1998, at the age of ninety-one.