Nella Larsen

The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen

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Nella Larsen was an important writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance. While she was not prolific, her work was powerful and critically acclaimed. Collected here are both of her novels, &quote;Passing&quote; and &quote;Quicksand&quote;, as well as all three of her published short stories; &quote;Freedom,&quote; &quote;The Wrong Man&quote;, and &quote;Sanctuary&quote;. &quote;Quicksand&quote; was autobiographical in nature and examined a woman's need for sexual fulfilment balanced against respectability and acceptance amid a deeply religious society. The novel is deeply pessimistic and ends as the protagonist is sucked into a life that is at odds with all that she desired. &quote;Passing&quote; confronts the reality of racial passing. The novel focuses on two childhood friends, Clare and Irene, both of whom are light-skinned enough to pass as white, who have reconnected with one another after many years apart. Clare has chosen to pass while Irene has embraced her racial heritage and become an important member of her community. The novel examines how people pass on many different levels and in many different ways. Some forms of passing are perfectly acceptable while others can lead to disaster.
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310 printed pages
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  • Kate Egorovahas quoted3 years ago
    The Wrong Man
  • Cristy Gomezhas quoted6 years ago
    Mrs. Hayes-Rore proved to be a plump lemon-colored woman with badly straightened hair and dirty fingernails. Her direct, penetrating gaze was somewhat formidable. Notebook in hand, she gave Helga the impression of having risen early for consultation with other harassed authorities on the race problem, and having been in conference on the subject all day. Evidently she had had little time or thought for the careful donning of the five-years-behind-the-mode garments which covered her, and which even in their youth could hardly have fitted or suited her.
  • Cristy Gomezhas quoted6 years ago
    She saw herself for an obscene sore in all their lives, at all costs to be hidden. She understood, even while she resented. It would have been easier if she had not.
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