Nella Larsen's subject is the struggle of sensitive, spirited heroines to find a place for themselves in a hostile world. Passing is the story of a light-skinned beauty who, after spending years passing for white, finds herself dangerously drawn to an old friend's Harlem neighborhood. In Quicksand, a restless young mulatto tries desperately to find a comfortable place in a world in which she sees herself as a perpetual outsider. Race and marriage offer few securities here or in the other stories in a collection that is compellingly readable, rich in psychological complexity, and imbued with a sense of place that brings Harlem vibrantly to life.
"Highly charged interior dramas of the black middle class in Harlem [by] an original and hugely insightful writer."—The New York Times
"Discovering The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen is like finding lost money with no name on it. One can enjoy it with delight and share it without guilt."—Maya Angelou