In the Shadow of Cottagers' Corner

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson’s biography of Oak Bluffs writer Dorothy West might never have been launched but for a startling revelation that upended the researcher’s corner of the literary world.

Ms. Sherrard-Johnson, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described to an Island audience Thursday how Dorothy West’s Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color emerged from the ashes of her work on a 19th century female writer who was considered part of the black literary canon.

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