Nella Larsen

Quicksand & Passing
  • Quicksand & Passing

  • VINTAGE CLASSICS' HARLEM RENAISSANCE SERIES

    'She could neither conform nor be happy in her unconformity'

    'Absolutely absorbing, fascinating and indispensable' Alice Walker

    Nella Larsen wrote two novels in her lifetime, both of which are collected here. The first, Quicksand, follows a mixed-race woman who runs from the fictional town of Naxos to Chicago to Harlem to Copenhagen. It becomes easy for her to leave behind places but the discrimination she's running from is inescapable. In Passing, two childhood friends reconnect later in life. One, slightly more light-skinned than the other, lives her life passing for a white person, married to a flagrant racist while her friend observes uneasily.

    Masterfully plotted and infinitely illuminating, Quicksand & Passing is one of the finest works of the Harlem Renaissance.

    'Buy the book' W. E. B. Du Bois

Nella Larsen (1891-1964) was an American novelist and major figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Born in Chicago, she attended university in Nashville and subsequently lived in Denmark and New York, where she worked as a nurse and librarian. Her two novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), established her as one of the most important black female novelists in American history.

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