Quicksand by Thadious M. Davis & Nella Larsen
(Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

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Born to a white mother and an absent black father, and despised for her dark skin, Helga Crane has long had to fend for herself. As a young woman, Helga teaches at an all-black school in the South, but even here she feels different. Moving to Harlem and eventually to Denmark, she attempts to carve out a comfortable life and place for herself, but ends up back where she started, choosing emotional freedom that quickly translates into a narrow existence.

Quicksand, Nella Larsen's powerful first novel, has intriguing autobiographical parallels and at the same time invokes the international dimension of African American culture of the 1920s. It also evocatively portrays the racial and gender restrictions that can mark a life.


About Thadious M. Davis & Nella Larsen

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Carla Kaplan is the Davis Distinguished Professor of American Literature at Northeastern University. She is the author of The Erotics of Talk: Women's Writing and Feminist Paradigms, Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, and Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance (forthcoming). She is also editor of Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk Tales from the Gulf States and Dark Symphony and Other Works by Elizabeth Laura Adams.
Published January 29, 2002 by Penguin Classic. 146 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Romance, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

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