Synopses & Reviews
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 othersand 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.
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“A work so fine, sensitive, and distinguished that it rises above race categories and becomes that rare object, a good novel.” —Saturday Review of Literature
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
(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