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Passing (1929)

av Nella Larsen

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1,694587,532 (3.77)264
First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkable exploration of the shifting racial and sexual boundaries in America. Larsen, a premier writer of the Harlem Renaissance, captures the rewards and dangers faced by two negro women who pass for white in a deeply segregated world.
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» Se även 264 omnämnanden

engelska (55)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (56)
Visa 1-5 av 56 (nästa | visa alla)
This is an amazing book, a novella written with such concise, perfect prose, it's a shame to have it over so quickly. I was immediately drawn into the story and its characters.

I read this in a day and a half, torn between wanting to find out how it ends and wanting it to last. I'm going to be reading this again. Probably more than once. There's so much to unpack - about race, identify, choices - I feel the need for a discussion group, which rarely happens. But this amazing book deserves it. Nella Larsen writes powerfully, and is worth diving into deeply. ( )
  terriks | May 3, 2021 |
Novel published in 1929 by Black Harlem renaissance writer that is set in 1950 Harlem. Story of 2 black women who knew each other as children and then ran into each other years later when both were married. One is married to a white man who has no idea his wife is Black. The other, also light-skinned, married within her race. Both have successful husbands. The one who married a racist white man (Clare), finds herself envying her friend Irene, who lives in a society of other well-to-do Blacks and even has white friends. Clare insinuates herself into Irene's world whenever her husband is traveling and Irene is wary of her. She knows Clare to be daring and determined to get what she wants out of life. A gripping psychological portrait of emotional extremity. ( )
  bogopea | Apr 27, 2021 |
Passing was first published in 1929, and its cover has changed many times over the years. It is a book that is studied in school and reread by many as it continually compels the reader to challenge assumptions about race.

Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield, both biracial, were childhood friends. Clare Kendry married a white man and is “passing” as white. We find out that her white husband has deep-rooted racist beliefs and doesn’t suspect that his wife is not 100% white. Irene Redfield has married a successful doctor and has two children; her husband and children have dark skin, and she lives comfortably with her racial makeup.

After not seeing each other for many years, Clare and Irene are reacquainted. Their renewed connection leads to Irene assessing the status of her marriage. Additionally, Irene has great difficulty avoiding Clare, and the reader is led to wonder whether there is a sexual attraction between the two women.

This short novel is packed with thought-provoking material for exploring the concept of race and sexuality in early 20th century American society. The author also delves into the themes of social class and friendship. The main characters are surprisingly well-developed for such a thin piece of literature: anger, trustworthiness, loyalty, selfishness, resentment, and insecurity are portrayed through the interactions of characters.
https://quipsandquotes.net/ ( )
  LindaLoretz | Mar 15, 2021 |
Interesting subject i never thought about. Good writing. Surprising ending. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Mar 8, 2021 |
This classic of African-American literature is set in the 1920s and explores the practical and emotional ramifications when a pair of black women meet by chance after many years and one discovers that the other has been passing as white ever since she disappeared from the neighborhood where they grew up.

For Irene, who narrates the story, her childhood friend Clare's choice to pretend to be white raises complicated feelings within her. On the one hand, she herself has been known to occasionally present as white in situations where she would not be welcome as a black woman — certain restaurants or businesses, for example. On the other hand, she is proud to be black, and having married a black doctor and living a comfortable life in the Harlem Renaissance community in New York City, spends much of her time working to raise money to help disadvantaged fellow black Americans. She can't help viewing Clare's passing as a repudiation of the pride 'Rene feels about being black.

Despite Irene's disapproval of Clare's life (and the fact that Clare's husband is an unrepentant racist who has no idea his wife is not white) she can't help feeling a begrudging admiration and liking for Clare. There are hints that there may even be some sexual tension between them, although this 1929 book does not explore the topic beyond slight hints and suggestions that may be my 21st century brain imposing current cultural norms on the past.

This is an exceedingly short book — really more of a novella than a novel — and that was a source of some frustration to me. It felt that we never got to the real heart of how and why Clare chose to live her life the way she did. That feeling was compounded by the ambiguous and somewhat abrupt-seeming ending, which I am still unsure of even now. None of that should deter a reader who is interested in exploring the realities of race in 1920s America, though. Short as it is, [Passing] packs a punch and is well worth spending time with, however brief. ( )
  rosalita | Mar 3, 2021 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Nella Larsenprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Bernard, EmilyInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Davis, Thadious M.Redaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Henderson, MaeFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rogers, T. N. R.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Shange, NtozakeInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Torriglia, Anna MariaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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One three centuries removed
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It was the last letter in Irene Redfield's little pile of morning mail.
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkable exploration of the shifting racial and sexual boundaries in America. Larsen, a premier writer of the Harlem Renaissance, captures the rewards and dangers faced by two negro women who pass for white in a deeply segregated world.

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