As dramatized on Radio 4 and seen on Netflix, Nella Larsen’s Passing is a distinctive and revealing novel about racial identity, and a key text of the Harlem Renaissance.
Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful hardbacks make perfect gifts for book lovers, or wonderful additions to your own collection. This edition of Passing features an introduction by writer and academic, Christa Holm Vogelius.
Irene Redfield, married to a successful physician, enjoys a comfortable life in 1920s Harlem, New York. Reluctantly, she renews her friendship with old school friend, Clare Kendry. Clare, who like Irene is light skinned, ‘passes’ as white and is married to a racist white man who has no idea about Clare’s racial heritage. Clare is very persuasive and Irene, despite misgivings, can’t resist letting her back into her world. As tensions mount between friends and between couples, this taut and mesmerizing narrative spins towards an unexpected end.
A fascinating inquiry into the nature of race (and a window into the Harlem Renaissance) catalyzed by a chance meeting between two childhood friends. A page-turning classic.
Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach
A tragic story rooted in inescapable facts of American life . . . Passing is the work of a highly talented and thoughtful writer
Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
Nella Larsen’s uncanny, tightly structured 1929 novel about Black female friendship, mirroring, deception, and class privilege.
Hilton Als, New Yorker