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Quicksand
     

Quicksand

3.6 14
by Nella Larsen
 

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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

Overview

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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:
9781101157206
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/29/2002
Series:
Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,090,193
File size:
199 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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

Nella Larsen (1891-1964) was the author of two novels and several short stories. She received a Guggenheim fellowship to write a third novel in 1930 but, unable to find a publisher for it, she disappeared from the literary scene and worked as a nurse.

Thadious M. Davis is the G. C. Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, the author of an acclaimed biography of Nella Larsen, and the editor of Larsen’s Quicksand for Penguin Classics.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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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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