Quicksand is the first novel of Nella Larsen and she completed the first draft quickly. The novel was out of print from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Quicksand explores both cross-cultural and interracial themes. Larsen dedicated the novel to her husband.
Discussing the novel, Jacquelyn Y. McLendon called it the more "obviously autobiographical" of Larsen's two novels. Larsen called the emotional experiences of the novel "the awful truth" in a letter to her friend Carl van Vechten.