Daily Archives for: March 15th, 2018

Quicksand by Nella Larsen (1928) 

Quicksand by Nella Larsen (1928) was the first novel by this author associated with the Harlem Renaissance. A story with autobiographical elements, it was largely well received, though not a big seller. Helga Crane, the main character, like Nella Larsen, is the mixed-race daughter of a white Danish mother and a black father.

The plot takes her back and forth from Denmark, “Naxos” (a thinly veiled version of the Tuskegee Institute, where Larsen worked briefly), and Harlem. Wherever Helga goes, she fails to find a community in which she can be comfortable with who she is.  Read More→


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Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen (April 13, 1891 – March 30, 1964), born Nellie Walker in Chicago was an American author associated with the Harlem Renaissance movement. Her body of writing was modest, but she was considered a respected voice of her time.

Larsen was the first African-American woman to graduate from library school and to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship for creative writing. The theme of her life, and in effect, her work, was a sense of never belonging — not to any community, nor even to an immediate family. Read More→


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