Dorothy West, a young author during the Harlem Renaissance who drifted into obscurity only to find new acclaim in recent years, has died. She was 91.
Miss West's admirers stretched from Zora Neale Hurston, who brought her to New York in the 1920s after the two tied for second place in a short story contest, to Oprah Winfrey, who turned one of her books into a television miniseries last year.Miss West died Sunday in this Martha's Vineyard town, one of the nation's oldest black vacation communities. She had lived here since 1947, when she came to care for an ailing aunt.
Miss West was born in Boston in 1907, the daughter of an emancipated slave. In 1926, shortly after she graduated from Girls' Latin School, she became part of the groundbreaking circle of black writers in Harlem that included Richard Wright, Langston Hughes and Miss Hurston.
"We didn't know it was the Harlem Renaissance, because we were all poor," she said in 1995.