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Passing (Penguin Classics)


Passing (Penguin Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780142437278
ISBN10: 0142437271
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nella Larsen's remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries

Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. Fair, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past. Clares childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, but refuses to acknowledge the racism that continues to constrict her familys happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others—and the secret fears they have buried within themselves. First published in 1929, . This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by Larsen biographer Thadious M. Davis.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


The landmark novel about the cultural meaning of race, first published in 1929, is a remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries which tells the story of an two African-American woman who must confront lies and secret fears.

About the Author

Nella Larsen (1891-1964) was the author of two novels and several short stories. She received a Guggenheim fellowship to write a third novel in 1930 but, unable to find a publisher for it, she disappeared from the literary scene and worked as a nurse.

Thadious M. Davis is G. C. Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, the author of an acclaimed biography of Nella Larsen, and the editor of Larsens Quicksand for Penguin Classics.

Table of Contents


Suggestions for Further Reading

A Note on the Text 

Part One: Encounter 

Part Two: Re-Encounter 

Part Three: Finale

Explanatory Notes

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Lisa Brown, July 9, 2012 (view all comments by Lisa Brown)
Like Orwell's Animal Farm, this stands as a novella that could single-handedly justify and serve to reify the form. Sure, there's something to be said for the Great American Novel of 400, 700, 1,000-plus pages, but this slim little volume proves that stories clocking in well under 150 pages can still be just as great. Larsen's understanding of domestic conflict is as subtle and layered as her portrayal of race relations, lending her story a certain degree of nuance that seems lacking in Invisible Man or Beloved, in my opinion anyway. Definitely worthy of a required reading list or two.
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Product Details

Davis, Thadious M.
Davis, Thadious M.
Larsen, Nella
Penguin Books
New York
New york (n.y.)
Race relations
Psychological fiction
New York
African-American women
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.72x5.10x.39 in. .28 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Passing (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 160 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142437278 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The landmark novel about the cultural meaning of race, first published in 1929, is a remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries which tells the story of an two African-American woman who must confront lies and secret fears.

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