Passing (Kobo eBook)

Passing By Nella Larsen, Rafael Walker Cover Image
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Written at the height of the Harlem Renaissance (the first sustained artistic movement by African Americans) and of Jim Crow (one of this cultural group’s greatest obstacles), Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing is easily among the most penetrating, skillfully composed explorations of race and gender in the twentieth century. It focuses on two estranged friends, Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, who, after years apart, are joltingly thrown back together, their lives transformed radically through one of the most scandalous and intriguing social phenomena of Larsen’s time—racial passing. Today, Larsen is ranked as one of the leading novelists of her generation; this novel, her masterpiece, demonstrates why.

Appendices include material on the novel’s composition and reception, as well as legal documents relating to mixed-race individuals and a selection of recent critical work on the novel’s afterlife and the 2021 film adaptation.