Quicksand

Front Cover
Penguin, 1928 - Fiction - 154 pages
17 Reviews
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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
15
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - froxgirl - LibraryThing

Nella Larsen is quite a discovery; a lost writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Only two novellas of hers were published, and then she was unjustly accused of plagiarism of a story and stopped writing ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlCracka - LibraryThing

Does not get off to a great start; the writing is pretty wince-y in the early going: "Helga ducked her head under the covers in a vain attempt to shut out what she knew would fill the pregnant silence ... Read full review

All 8 reviews »

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1928)

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 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.


Thadious M. Davis†is 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.

Bibliographic information