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Quicksand and Passing (American Women Writers) Paperback – April 1, 1986
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"Quicksand and Passing are 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." -- Alice Walker
"This series is an ambitious, exciting, and highly valuable contribution to the reclamation of American women's lost literature." -- Joyce Carol Oates
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Top Customer Reviews
HOWEVER this edition by Wilder Press is terrible. If you are a student, teacher, or someone who cares about the quality of your books, I advise AGAINST this copy. It has random paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences, multiple typos, and absolutely no extra-textual information - no introduction, no information on how the text was edited - nothing. Most importantly, it omits the epigraph - a section of a Langston Hughes poem that really sheds light on the overall themes of the novels.
If you want a better quality (and probably cheaper) read, go with the Rutgers University Press edition. Buying this version of the text was a complete waste of my money, as I'll be selling it and buying the Rutgers UP edition.
Helga is a heroine, tragic not because of her fate, but of her resignation to her fate and inability to rise above it. Larsen realizes the bonds of racism and sexism that held steadfastedly in place, whether it's in Harlem or Copenhagen. A reader may either sympathesize with Helga's plight or sneer at her stupidity. But perhaps that's what Larson wants to portray. Sometimes one is irrational when it comes to the matters of the heart or the lack of. Even the most intelligent of us. We would gasp in surprise if the same fate fell upon others but would seem resigned when we are in the same situation.
Passing is considered by many critics as Larsen's "lesser novella." True, it is not as riveting as Quicksand, but it explores deeper issues of gender and the color barrier. While in Quicksand the relationship between Helga and Anne is at best lightly touched upon, the one between Clare and Irene is more complex and poignant.
Throughout the novel(la), there is a tinge of homoeroticism, if you read between the lines. This is a story, not so much of the tragic mulatta (even though tragedy tends to overshadow all else in Larsen's work), nor merely of the phenomenon of passing for white, but of two women's exploration of their own gender, sexual, and racial roles in the tumulous society of upper middle-class Harlem.
Both stories written in the early 1930s period, this book features Larsen at her best. Even though the endings to both are quite anti-climatic, one should find in her stories enough food for thought and a quite thorough insight into female African American conflicts and culture during the Renaissance era.
Keep an eye on Irene.
Amazing narrative on several levels. The crossing of domains in this novella is outstanding. Because Irene has control of the narrative, the childhood events and characterizations indict Clare as untrustworthy instead of as a misfortunate child who overcomes great obstacles. This distrust raises questions later on when Clare all but moves into Irene's house, and Irene doesn't protest for an "obscure reason."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't stop reading both these fascinating stories. I would give 5 stars but I hated the endings !Published 1 month ago by Donna Kipp
The two books in this slim volume are apparently quite important as representatives of a very limited literature on racial and sexual identity among women of mixed race in the late... Read morePublished 18 months ago by James C. Casterline
Got this product in class because i forgot to purchase the book at the beginning of the semester. Easy downloadPublished on March 9, 2014 by Rachel Daniel