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Passing: Film Tie-In Edition (Paperback)
Nella Larsen’s distinctive and revealing novel about racial identity set in New York in 1929. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga and Alexander Skarsgård.
Irene Redfield, married to a successful physician, enjoys a comfortable life in Harlem, New York. Reluctantly, she renews her friendship with old school friend, Clare Kendry. Clare, who like Irene is light skinned, ‘passes’ as white and is married to a racist white man who has no idea about Clare’s racial heritage. Even though Irene knows that reigniting her friendship with Clare will lead to trouble, she can’t resist allowing Irene into her world. Irene in turn wants to rekindle her bonds with the African American community of her youth. As tensions mount between friends and between couples, this taut and mesmerizing narrative spins towards an unexpected end.
This edition of Passing features an introduction by writer and academic, Christa Holm Vogelius.
About the Author
Nella Larsen was born in Chicago in 1891 to a white Danish mother and a black West Indian father. She studied in America and Denmark and throughout her writing career she worked as a children’s librarian and primarily as a nurse. In 1928 her first novel Quicksand was published to great critical acclaim. Passing was published a year later. Her marriage brought her into contact with the upper echelons of New York’s black society and she became an important female voice of the Harlem Renaissance. She was the first black woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative writing. Divorced in 1933, she spent the rest of her life working as nurse. Nella Larsen died in 1964.