Nella Larsen Quicksand & Passing

ISBN 13: 9781852427450

Quicksand & Passing

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9781852427450: Quicksand & Passing

"Quicksand" (1928) is the first novel to give a voice to the sexual desires of a black woman. Helga Crane, the book's protagonist, is trapped in the conflict between an active and a passive sexual behaviour, between sexual fufilment and middle-class respectability. Conflicts of race and sex even a religious conversion cannot resolve. "Passing", written a year later, is overtly about black people who pass for white, but in a veiled way it also is the desire of one woman for another - a new and daring theme for the writing of the time. The eroticism and sexuality that Nella Larsen was only able to whisper has in recent times been spoken loud and clear by Gayl Jones, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange and many other black women writers who recognize Nella Larsen as a pioneer and inspiration.

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From the Back Cover:

Nella Larsen's novels Quicksand(1928) and Passing(1929) document the historical realities of Harlem in the 1920s and shed a bright light on the social world of the black bourgeoisie. The novel's greatest appeal and achievement, however, is not sociological, but psychological. As noted in the editor's comprehensive introduction, Larsen takes the them of psychic dualism, so popular in Harlem Renaissance fiction, to a higher and more complex level, displaying a sophisticated understanding and penetrating analysis of black female psychology.

About the Author:

Nella Larsen was born in Chicago in 1893 of a Danish mother and a West Indian father. She began writing during the Harlem Renaissance, a period during which black artists, writers, and musicians were prominent in the New York art scene. The success of Quicksand and Passing made Nella Larsen one of the most feted woman writers of her generation. She died in 1963 in obscurity. Now her 'lost' work is being rediscovered and celebrated.

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Larsen, Nella
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