The Living Is Easy

The Living Is Easy


Dorothy West
The captivating first novel by Dorothy West.

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 07-01-1995

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Afterword by Adelaide Cromwell

This is the story of the incredible Cleo Judson--daughter of southern sharecroppers, and now wife of "Black Banana King" Bart Judson. Cleo wants to rear her daughter as a member of Boston's black elite; she also wants to recreate her original family by bringing her three sisters and their children--but not their husbands--to live with her in an enormous house.

"[A] powerful work." Essence

"Concerned with the magical qualities of black girlhood . . .The Living Is Easy focuses on the special role of the mother in childhood fantasies. . . . Cleo Jericho Judson is a grown woman when we first meet her . . . but it is the incomplete relationship with her long-dead mother that still drives her." Village Voice

"The important thing about the book is its abundance and special woman's energy and beat. The beat is a deep one, and it often makes a man's seem puny." —Seymour Krim, New York Times

"[Dorothy West] is a brisk storyteller with an eye for ironical detail . . . [and] a deft stylist and writer of social satire." Ms. magazine

"An American masterpiece." —Cynthia Davis, professor of English, University of Maryland