Cover image for The complete fiction of Nella Larsen
Title:
The complete fiction of Nella Larsen
Author:
Larsen, Nella.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Anchor Books edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Anchor Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxii, 278 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"Originally titled An intimation of things distant"--Cover.
Language:
English
Contents:
Foreward / Marita Golden -- Introduction / Charles R. Lawson -- The wrong man -- Freedom -- Sanctuary -- Quicksand -- Passing -- Nella Larson, a chronology.
Added Title:
Wrong man.

Freedom.

Sanctuary.

Quicksand.

Passing.
ISBN:
9780385721004
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This volume brings together the complete fiction of the author of Passing and Quicksand , one of the most gifted writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Throughout her short but brilliant literary career, Nella Larsen wrote piercing dramas about the black middle class that featured sensitive, spirited heroines struggling to find a place where they belonged. Passing , Larsen's best-known work, is a disturbing story about the unraveling lives of two childhood friends, one of whom turns her back on her past and marries a white bigot. Just as disquieting is the portrait in Quicksand of Helga Crane, half black and half white, who is unable to escape her loneliness no matter where and with whom she lives. Race and marriage offer few securities here or in the other stories in this compulsively readable collection, rich in psychological complexity and imbued with a sense of place that brings Harlem vibrantly to life.


Author Notes

Nella Larsen was associated with the Harlem Renaissance. She also worked as a librarian and a nurse in New York City, pursuing nursing after her brief, successful writing career until her death in 1964. Larsen's mother was Danish, and her father was West Indian; she used her experience as the child of middle-class parents in a mixed marriage to create characters in two novels who are stranded, caught between two cultures and unable to feel wholly at home in either. In each of Larsen's novels, the heroine suffers suffocating constrictions of her identity in both African American and white European culture. These crises in both Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929) are further complicated by the heroine's quest for sexual as well as social identity, and both novels end without hopeful resolution. Both contain autobiographical elements, but Quicksand, the more successful, reproduced in fictional form many of the circumstances of Larsen's own early life. Although her work had been out of print for many years, she has recently been rediscovered. (Bowker Author Biography)


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