Literature & Fiction
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.