The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen
Passing, Quicksand, and the Stories
Publication Date: November 6, 2001
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In The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen, whose career flamed brightly but briefly in the 1920s, we rediscover one of the most gifted writers of the Harlem Renaissance.
Nella Larsen's subject is the struggle of sensitive, spirited heroines to find a place for themselves in a hostile world. Passing is the story of a light-skinned beauty who, after spending years passing for white, finds herself dangerously drawn to an old friend's Harlem neighborhood. In Quicksand, a restless young mulatto tries desperately to find a comfortable place in a world in which she sees herself as a perpetual outsider. Race and marriage offer few securities here or in the other stories in a collection that is compellingly readable, rich in psychological complexity, and imbued with a sense of place that brings Harlem vibrantly to life.
Charles R. Larson pioneered courses in African, African-American, and Third World literature. The author of numerous critical volumes, including "The Emergence of African Fiction", he teaches at American University in Washington D.C.
Marita Golden is an award-winning author, professor of writing, and cofounder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African American writers. She has been featured in several magazines and newspapers, including the "New York Times", "Washington Post", and "Essence".