Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2004-10-26
Publisher(s): Dover Publications
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Nella Larsen (1891-1964) occupies a central place in African-American and Modernist literature, and her status as a Harlem Renaissance woman writer is rivaled only by Zora Neale Hurston's. This Norton Critical Edition of Larsen's electrifying 1929 novel is accompanied by Carla Kaplan's insightfully detailed introduction, explanatory annotations, and a Note on the Text "Backgrounds and Contexts" connects Passing to the historical events of the day, most notably the sensational Rhinelander/Jones case of 1925. Fourteen contemporary reviews are reprinted, including those by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, W. B. Seabrook, Mary Griffin, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Little-known documents, including those by Juanita Ellsworth and Caleb Johnson, reveal America's fascination with-and fear of-the cultural phenomenon of passing. Also included are Larsen's statements on the novel and on passing, as well as a generous selection of her letters. The theme of "The Tragic Mulatto(a)" in American literature is explored through related writings by Lydia Maria Child, William Wells Brown, Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes, among others. Finally, Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr., Jessie Redmon Fauset, Countee Cullen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Allen Semi [Nella Larsen], George S. Schuyler, Carl Van Vechten, and Langston Hughes voice their impressions of passing from the perspective of the Harlem Renaissance. "Criticism" provides sixteen diverse interpretations of Passing by, among others, Deborah E. McDowell, Judith Butler, Cheryl A. Wall, Thadious M. Davis, George Hutchinson, Mary Helen Washington, Ann duCille, Gayle Wald, Claudia Tate, and Jennifer DeVere Brody. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included. Book jacket.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nella Larsen's Erotics of Racep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxix
A Note on the Textp. xxxi
The Text of Passingp. 1
Backgrounds and Contextsp. 83
Reviewsp. 85
"Passing" Is a Novel of Longings (April 27, 1929)p. 85
Beyond the Color Line (April 28, 1929)p. 85
The Color Line (April 28, 1929)p. 87
The Dilemma of Mixed Race: Another Study of the Color-line in New York (May 1, 1929)p. 88
As in a Looking Glass (May 3, 1929)p. 90
Touch of the Tar-brush (May 18, 1929)p. 91
Passing (June 1929)p. 93
The Cat Came Back (June 5, 1929)p. 94
Novel of Race Consciousness (June 23, 1929)p. 96
Passing (July 1929)p. 97
Passing (July 1929)p. 99
Passing (Aug. 1929)p. 99
Do They Always Return? (Sept. 28, 1929)p. 101
Passing (Dec. 1929)p. 102
Passing (Dec. 12, 1929)p. 102
Contemporary Coverage of Passing and Racep. 105
When Is a Caucasian Not a Caucasian? (March 2, 1911)p. 105
Writer Says Brazil Has No Color Line (Oct. 1925)p. 107
Does It Pay to "Pass?" (Aug. 20, 1927)p. 107
From White Negroes (May-June 1928)p. 109
3,000 Negroes Cross the Line Each Year (July 12, 1928)p. 111
From Negro to Caucasion, Or How the Ethiopian Is Changing His Skin (1929)p. 112
Crossing the Color Line (July 28, 1929)p. 117
From Crossing the Color Line (Aug. 26, 1931)p. 121
75,000 Pass in Philadelphia Every Day (Dec. 19, 1931)p. 123
Careful Lyncher! He May Be Your Brother (Jan. 21, 1932)p. 124
Blonde Girl Was 'Passing' (Jan. 23, 1932)p. 125
Virginia Is Still Hounding 'White' Negroes Who 'Pass'p. 126
The Rhinelander/Jones Casep. 129
Society Youth Weds Cabman's Daughter (Nov. 14, 1924)p. 129
Poor Girl to Fight Hubby's Parents (Dec. 26, 1924)p. 130
From Calls Rhinelander Dupe of Girl He Wed (Nov. 10, 1925)p. 133
From Loved Rhinelander, Wife's Letters Say (Nov. 13, 1925)p. 134
From Rhinelander Bares Love Secrets (Nov. 21, 1925)p. 137
From Kip's "Soul Message" Notes Read (Nov. 28. 1925)p. 138
From Rhinelander Jury Reaches a Decision after Twelve Hours (Dec. 5, 1925)p. 145
[Rhinelander Editorial], The Crisis (Jan. 1926)p. 147
Rhinelander Gets a Fair Deal (Jan. 26, 1926)p. 147
Mrs. Rhinelander to Sail (July 16, 1926)p. 148
About Nella Larsenp. 149
New Author Unearthed Right Here in Harlem (May 23, 1928)p. 149
Behind the Backs of Books and Authors (April 13, 1929)p. 150
Jean Blackwell Hutson to Louise Fox (Aug. 1, 1969)p. 151
Author's Statementsp. 152
[Nella Larsen Imes, Guggenheim Application]p. 152
[In Defense of Sanctuary]p. 156
Lettersp. 158
To Carl Van Vechten [1925]p. 158
To Charles S. Johnson [Aug. 1926]p. 158
To Eddie Wasserman [April 3, 1928]p. 161
To Eddie Wasserman [April 5, 1928]p. 161
To Dorothy Peterson [n.d.]p. 162
To Dorothy Peterson [July 19, 1927]p. 163
To Dorothy Peterson [July 21, 1927]p. 164
To Dorothy Peterson [Aug. 2, 1927]p. 166
To Langston Hughes [n.d.]p. 167
To Langston Hughes [1930]p. 168
To Carl Van Vechten [April 15, 1929]p. 168
To Gertrude Stein (Jan. 26, 1931)p. 169
To Carl Van Vechten [May 14, 1932]p. 170
The Tragic Mulatto (A)p. 171
The Quadroonsp. 171
From The Garies and Their Friendsp. 180
From Clotelp. 192
From Iola Leroyp. 200
From An Imperative Dutyp. 207
The Father of Desiree's Babyp. 213
From Pudd'nhead Wilsonp. 218
From The House Behind the Cedarsp. 220
The Octoroonp. 227
Near Whitep. 227
Mulattop. 227
From Imitation of Lifep. 229
Selections from Stories and Novels of Passing: "The Moment of Regret"p. 243
From Iola Leroyp. 243
From The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Manp. 248
From Flightp. 257
From Plum Bunp. 262
From Black No Morep. 270
Passingp. 281
Selected Writings from the Harlem Renaissancep. 285
The Mulatto to His Criticsp. 285
The Sleeper Wakesp. 285
Heritagep. 308
Two Who Crossed a Linep. 311
Criteria of Negro Artp. 312
Freedomp. 320
From The Negro-Art Hokump. 324
From Nigger Heavenp. 326
Passing for White, Passing for Colored, Passing for Negroes Plusp. 332
Criticismp. 335
Nella Larsen's Passing: A Study in Ironyp. 337
Nella Larsen's Passing: A Problem of Interpretationp. 342
Nella Larsen: Mystery Woman of the Harlem Renaissancep. 350
From Passing for What? Aspects of Identity in Nella Larsen's Novelsp. 356
[From Black Female Sexuality in Passing]p. 363
Nella Larsen's Harlem Aestheticp. 379
From Miscegenation and "The Dicta of Race and Class": The Rhinelander Case and Nella Larsen's Passingp. 387
Clare Kendry's "True" Colors: Race and Class Conflict in Nella Larsen's Passingp. 393
From Sororophobiap. 409
Passing, Queering: Nella Larsen's Psychoanalytic Challengep. 417
From Passing Fanciesp. 435
Nella Larsen and the Veil of Racep. 444
From The Recurring Conditions of Nella Larsen's Passingp. 463
Passing and Domestic Tragedyp. 486
Passing: Race, Identification, and Desirep. 489
Racial Etiquette: Nella Larsen's Passing and the Rhinelander Casep. 507
A Chronologyp. 533
Selected Bibliographyp. 539
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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