Quicksand and Passing
Author: Nella Larsen
Editor: Deborah McDowell
Publisher: Rutgers University Press (1986)
Nella Larsen's novels Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929) document the historical realities of Harlem in the 1920s and shed a bright light on the social world of the black bourgeoisie. The novels' greatest appeal and achievement, however, is not sociological, but psychological. As noted in the editor's comprehensive introduction, Larsen takes the theme of psychic dualism, so popular in Harlem Renaissance fiction, to a higher and more complex level, displaying a sophisticated understanding and penetrating analysis of black female psychology.
Quicksand and Passing are novels I will never forget. They open up a whole world of experience and struggle that seemed to me, when I first read them years ago, absolutely absorbing, fascinating, and indispensable."
"Discovering Nella Larsen is like finding lost money with no name on it. One can enjoy it with delight and share it without guilt."
"A hugely influential and insightful writer."
–The New York Times