Quicksand
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Quicksand

3.6 14
by Nella Larsen
     
 

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Helga's mother is white, and her father is black — and absent. Ostracized throughout her lonely childhood for her dark skin, Helga spends her adult life seeking acceptance. Everywhere she goes — the American South, Harlem, even Denmark—she feels oppressed. Socially, economically, and psychologically, Helga struggles against the "quicksand" of

Overview

Helga's mother is white, and her father is black — and absent. Ostracized throughout her lonely childhood for her dark skin, Helga spends her adult life seeking acceptance. Everywhere she goes — the American South, Harlem, even Denmark—she feels oppressed. Socially, economically, and psychologically, Helga struggles against the "quicksand" of classism, racism, and sexism.
One of the most acclaimed and influential writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Nella Larsen published her powerful first novel in 1928. Quicksand features intriguing autobiographical parallels with Larsen's own life, in addition to reflecting many aspects of African-American culture of the 1920s. Alice Walker praised it and Passing (Larsen's second novel, also available in a Dover edition) as "novels I will never forget. They open up a whole world of experience and struggle that seemed to me, when I first read them years ago, absolutely absorbing, fascinating, and indispensable."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fine, thoughtful and courageous. It is, on the whole, the best piece of fiction that Negro America has produced since the heyday of [Charles] Chesnutt." —W. E. B. Du Bois

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486451404
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
09/15/2006
Series:
Dover Books on Literature and Drama Series
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
504,714
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fine, thoughtful and courageous. It is, on the whole, the best piece of fiction that Negro America has produced since the heyday of [Charles] Chesnutt." —W. E. B. Du Bois

Meet the Author

One of the shining stars of the Harlem Renaissance, Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen (April 13, 1891–March 30, 1964) left behind only two novels and a handful of short stories — but Larsen's remarkable voice and vision has ensured her place in literary history.

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Quicksand 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic read. It addresses the issues of struggles of a mixed race woman in a society where she doesn't fit in with either black or white society, and is a novel that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a good book.
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BerylSBissell More than 1 year ago
Helga Crane is a young woman of mixed race tormented by her desire for a better, more fulfilling life. She is intelligent, beautiful, rebellious and has little use for what she sees in others as pretense and affectation. In a desperate search for happiness, she plunges into experiences that appear to fulfill her dreams but inevitably let her down. She discovers that does not like where she is, is as lonely as ever, and is as far from happiness as she’s ever been.  Impulsive, superior, judgmental, and perpetually dissatisfied, she avoids looking too deeply into her yearning and misses the insight that would have enlightened her – that happiness comes from within, not from without.  The story reaches its climax when Nella, having been unwittingly seduced during  a wild and passionate prayer meeting into which she’s stumbled during a terrific storm, follows that passion into a decision that condemns her to a life of dirt, misery, poverty, religion, and ignorance – everything she sought to avoid and now lacks the power to resist.
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