Nella Larsen's remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries
Clare Kendry leads a dangerous life. Fair, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, but refuses to acknowledge the racism that continues to constrict her family's happiness. A chance encounter forces both women to confront the lies they have told others--and the secret fears they have buried within themselves. First published in 1929, "." This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by Larsen biographer Thadious M. Davis.
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About the Author
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".
Thadious M. Davis is Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.
“A work so fine, sensitive, and distinguished that it rises above race categories and becomes that rare object, a good novel.” —Saturday Review of Literature