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Passing

Restless Classics presents an undersung gem of the Harlem Renaissance: Nella Larsen's Passing, a captivating and prescient exploration of identity, sexuality, belonging, self-invention, and race set amidst the pealing boisterousness of the Jazz Age.

When childhood friends Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield come across each other at a white-only restaurant, Irene learns her estranged friend has severed all ties to their African American community and is now married to a bigoted white man unaware of her heritage. Swinging between allure and repulsion, their revived relationship becomes a stage upon which questions of identity, sexuality, belonging, and self-invention play out.

Abrim with stifled desires, Nella Larsen’s searing portrait of these women’s inner cadences straddles the edges of things—communities, identities, races, and speech—and ultimately lands somewhere absolute and subversive: a place that defies categorization.
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Passing ON SALE10/23/2018

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About the Authors

Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen was born Nellie Walker in 1891 in Chicago. Her mother was a Danish immigrant and her father an immigrant from the Danish West Indies. Larsen attended school in all white environments in Chicago until she moved to Nashville to attend high school. Larsen later practiced nursing, and from 1922 to 1926, served as a librarian at the New York Public Library. After resigning from this position, Larsen began her literary career by writing her first novel, Quicksand (1928), which won her the Harmon Foundation’s bronze medal. After the publication of her second novel, Passing (1929), Larsen was awarded the first Guggenheim Fellowship given to an African American woman, establishing her as a premier novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. Nella Larsen died in New York in 1964.

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