PassingBook - 2003
Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light-skinned, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a racist white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past after deciding to "pass" as a white woman. Clare's childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, and is simultaneously allured and repelled by Clare's risky decision to engage in racial masquerade for personal and societal gain. After frequenting African American-centric gatherings together in Harlem, Clare's interest in Irene turns into a homoerotic longing for Irene's black identity that she abandoned and can never embrace again, and she is forced to grapple with her decision to pass for white in a way that is both tragic and telling. This edition features a new introduction by Emily Bernard and notes by Thadious M. Davis.
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From Library Staff
First published in 1929, the novel explores the interrelated issues of race and class during the cultural upheavals of the 1920s. Also available in ebook and downloadable audiobook formats.
An upper middle-class woman reconnects with a lighter-skinned friend who has left the black community to pass as white. (122 pages)
SeattleNonficLibrarians Sep 06, 2016
Like Hansberry, Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen detailed the psychological toll of racism on African American characters in her work. In PASSING, a nuanced exploration of racial politics and the risk of defiance, an upper middle-class woman reconnects with a lighter-skinned friend who has ... Read More »