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Passing ... A Perspective in Two Novels

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Passing ... A Perspective in Two Novels [Passing] Passing : A Novel -- by Nella Larsen (Publisher description) First published to critical acclaim in 1929,
    Message 1 of 4 , May 13, 2007
      Passing ... A Perspective in Two Novels

      PassingPassing : A Novel

      -- by Nella Larsen (Publisher description)


      First published to critical acclaim in
      1929, Passing firmly established Nella
      Larsen's prominence among women
      writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

      The Modern Library is proud to present
      Passing —an electrifying story
      of two women who cross the
      color line in 1920s New York …

      Irene Redfield, the novel's protagonist,
      is a woman with an enviable life.

      She and her husband, Brian,
      a prominent physician, share
      a comfortable town house
      with their sons.

      Her work arranging charity balls that
      gather [the] elite creates a sense of
      purpose and respectability for Irene.

      But her hold on this world begins
      to slip the day she encounters
      Clare Kendry, a childhood friend
      with whom she had lost touch.

      Clare—light-skinned, beautiful, and charming
      — tells Irene how, after her father's death,
      she left behind the "black"^^ neighborhood
      of her adolescence and began "passing"
      for `White'*, hiding her true `identity'
      from everyone, including her
      racist `White'* husband.

      As Clare begins inserting herself into
      Irene's life, Irene is thrown into a
      panic, terrified of the consequences
      of Clare's dangerous behavior.

      And when Clare witnesses the
      vibrancy and energy of the
      community she left behind,
      her burning desire to come
      back threatens to shatter
      her careful deception.

      Brilliantly plotted and elegantly written,
      Passing offers a gripping psychological
      portrait of emotional extremity.

      The New York Times Book
      Review called Larsen "adroit at
      tracing the involved processes
      of a mind divided against itself,
      that fights between the
      dictates of reason and desire."

      The Saturday Review of Literature said,
      "[Larsen] has produced a work so
      fine, sensitive, and distinguished
      that it rises above race categories
      and becomes that rare
      object, a good novel."

      Author Bio

      Nella Larsen was born in Chicago of
      interracial parentage on April 13, 1891.

      She grew up in a
      `White'*
      world,
      primarily among people of
      German and Scandinavian stock.

      Her first experience with an all-
      "black"^^
      world occurred in 1909, when she
      matriculated at the high school
      division of Fisk University in Nashville .

      After studying at the University of Copenhagen for
      two years, Larsen moved to New York City in 1912
      … [i]n 1919 she married Elmer Samuel
      Imes, a prominent
      "black"^^
      research
      physicist, who introduced her to
      Harlem 's literary and social elite.

      Larsen's first novel,'Quicksand',
      was published …  in 1928 .

      `Passing' was published in 1929.

      In 1930 Larsen became the first
      African American woman to
      be awarded a Guggenheim
      Fellowship in creative writing.

      She spent the last twenty years of her life
      working as a nurse in Manhattan hospitals.

      Nella Larsen died in New York City on March 30, 1964.

      Source: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375758133


      Passing by Patricia JonesPassing : A Novel

      -- by Patricia Jones (Publisher description)

      Like a glass of lemonade that is both sweet and tart,
      writer Patricia Jones mixes up a refreshing blend
      of deep emotion and raw truth, tempered
      by a grounded dose of wisdom.

      To Lila Giles, the term "passing" refers to those
      pale-hued folks who take advantage of their
      creamy shade by crossing into the
      `White'*
      world.

      Descended from a long line of an elite Baltimore
      family awash with "high-colored" skin just right
      for "passing", family lore told Lila that not one
      of them would have thought to deny their
      true selves and rich history in such a way.

      It is this sense of pride that bonds the Giles
      family together -- a bond strongly enforced
      by Lila's controlling stepmother Eulelie.

      But the delicate balance of this branch of the family
      Eulelie has so carefully engineered is threatened
      when Lila's brother decides to marry a
      woman from an oh-so-very-wrong family.

      A proud though severe matriarch, Eulelie Giles
      has ruled her four grown stepchildren with a
      heavy self-righteousness that could break
      the spirit of the most sound opponent,
      let alone the nearly thirty-year-old Lila.

      Relentlessly loyal to her privileged world, Eulelie
      has ingrained upon Lila and her three other
      stepchildren the importance of distinguishing
      between acceptable and unacceptable
      "blacks"^^.

      Despite her strident belief in an unyielding class
      line, Eulelie has kept a secret about her own
      past that manages to affect, in more ways
      than a few, anyone who enters her life.

      As the wedding day draws closer, Lila begins
      to look at her reality versus Eulelie's, and
      what Lila finds leads to a confrontation
      between stepmother and stepdaughter
      that could finally shatter Eulelie's reign
      over Lila and the family, but ultimately,
      one that will lead Eulelie back to the truth.

      Filled with multi-dimensional characters and rich
      with atmosphere, Passing is a story of tangled
      family relationships the secrets, misunderstanding,
      and deceptions that hold them together.

      Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
      African American families Fiction, African American
      women Fiction, Passing (Identity) Fiction, Baltimore (Md, )
      Fiction, Young women Fiction, Stepmothers Fiction

      http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0380805855&tc=bd

      http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/hc042/99094869.html
      Bibliographic record and links to related information
      available from the Library of Congress catalog


      About the Author:

      P
      atricia Jones, a former editor
      of 'Black Enterprise' magazine.
      She was a native of Baltimore and now lives in
      New York with her husband and daughter.
      Throughout her writing life, her work has
      appeared in `Ms.', `Essence', `Family Circle',
      `Woman's Day', and the `New York Times'.


      Related Links of Interest:

      (Book: The Color of Family – by Patricia Jones)
      http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060509651

      [[[

      Note:

      **The term `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
      person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
      also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

      ^^The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
      reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
      who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
      *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
      "black"^^.
      This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
      the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
      on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
      1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
      "black"^^.

      These terms
      "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
      to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
      largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
      that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
      were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
      ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
      anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
      ------ refuse to hold or see the their or another's
      `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
      ------ and provide support for the whole idea of making
      sure that equal rights would become granted to those
      people who suffered discrimination due to having
      `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
      ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

      As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
      "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
      entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
      as instructed by the western media and politicians.

      The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
      who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
      little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

      The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
      the Socio-Political-`Identification' of
      "black"^^

      *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
      has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

      The terms `Pass' and `Passing'
      – as used here – is
      reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
      have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
      ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
      `remain
      silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
      own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


      ]]]

    • multiracialbookclub
      Passing ... A Perspective in Two Novels [Passing] Passing : A Novel -- by Nella Larsen (Publisher description) First published to critical acclaim in 1929,
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 3, 2011


        Passing ... A Perspective in Two Novels



        Passing
        Passing : A Novel 

        -- by Nella Larsen (Publisher description)


        First published to critical acclaim in 
        1929, Passing firmly established Nella 
        Larsen's prominence among women 
        writers of the Harlem Renaissance. 

        The Modern Library is proud to present 
        Passing —an electrifying story 
        of two women who cross the 
        color line in 1920s  New York  … 

        Irene Redfield, the novel's protagonist, 
        is a woman with an enviable life. 

        She and her husband, Brian, 
        a prominent physician, share 
        a comfortable town house 
        with their sons. 

        Her work arranging charity balls that 
        gather [the] elite creates a sense of 
        purpose and respectability for Irene. 

        But her hold on this world begins 
        to slip the day she encounters 
        Clare Kendry, a childhood friend 
        with whom she had lost touch. 

        Clare—light-skinned, beautiful, and charming 
        — tells Irene how, after her father's death, 
        she left behind the "black"^^ neighborhood 
        of her adolescence and began "passing" 
        for `White'*, hiding her true `identity' 
        from everyone, including her 
        racist `White'* husband. 

        As Clare begins inserting herself into 
        Irene's life, Irene is thrown into a 
        panic, terrified of the consequences 
        of Clare's dangerous behavior. 

        And when Clare witnesses the 
        vibrancy and energy of the 
        community she left behind, 
        her burning desire to come 
        back threatens to shatter 
        her careful deception.

        Brilliantly plotted and elegantly written, 
        Passing offers a gripping psychological 
        portrait of emotional extremity. 

        The New York Times Book 
        Review called Larsen "adroit at 
        tracing the involved processes 
        of a mind divided against itself, 
        that fights between the 
        dictates of reason and desire." 

        The Saturday Review of Literature said, 
        "[Larsen] has produced a work so 
        fine, sensitive, and distinguished 
        that it rises above race categories 
        and becomes that rare 
        object, a good novel."

        Author Bio

        Nella Larsen was born in  Chicago  of 
        interracial parentage on April 13, 1891.

        She grew up in a
         `White'*
         world, 
        primarily among people of 
        German and Scandinavian stock.

        Her first experience with an all-
        "black"^^ 
        world occurred in 1909, when she 
        matriculated at the high school 
        division of  Fisk   University  in  Nashville .

        After studying at the  University  of  Copenhagen  for 
        two years, Larsen moved to  New York City  in 1912 
        … [i]n 1919 she married Elmer Samuel 
        Imes, a prominent 
        "black"^^ 
        research 
        physicist, who introduced her to 
        Harlem 's literary and social elite.

        Larsen's first novel,'Quicksand'
        was published …  in 1928 .

        `Passing' was published in 1929.

        In 1930 Larsen became thefirst 
        African-American woman to 
        be awarded a Guggenheim 
        Fellowship in creative writing.


        She spent the last twenty years of her life 
        working as a nurse in  Manhattan  hospitals.

        Nella Larsen died in  New York City  on March 30, 1964.

        Source: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375758133


        Passing

        Passing : A Novel 

        -- by Patricia Jones (Publisher description)

        Like a glass of lemonade that is both sweet and tart, 
        writer Patricia Jones mixes up a refreshing blend 
        of deep emotion and raw truth, tempered 
        by a grounded dose of wisdom.

        To Lila Giles, the term "passing" refers to those 
        pale-hued folks who take advantage of their 
        creamy shade by crossing into the
         `White'* 
        world.

        Descended from a long line of an elite  Baltimore  
        family awash with "high-colored" skin just right 
        for "passing", family lore told Lila that not one 
        of them would have thought to deny their 
        true selves and rich history in such a way.

        It is this sense of pride that bonds the Giles 
        family together -- a bond strongly enforced 
        by Lila's controlling stepmother Eulelie.

        But the delicate balance of this branch of the family 
        Eulelie has so carefully engineered is threatened 
        when Lila's brother decides to marry a 
        woman from an oh-so-very-wrong family.

        A proud though severe matriarch, Eulelie Giles 
        has ruled her four grown stepchildren with a 
        heavy self-righteousness that could break 
        the spirit of the most sound opponent, 
        let alone the nearly thirty-year-old Lila.

        Relentlessly loyal to her privileged world, Eulelie 
        has ingrained upon Lila and her three other 
        stepchildren the importance of distinguishing 
        between acceptable and unacceptable
         "blacks"^^.

        Despite her strident belief in an unyielding class 
        line, Eulelie has kept a secret about her own 
        past that manages to affect, in more ways 
        than a few, anyone who enters her life.

        As the wedding day draws closer, Lila begins 
        to look at her reality versus Eulelie's, and 
        what Lila finds leads to a confrontation 
        between stepmother and stepdaughter 
        that could finally shatter Eulelie's reign 
        over Lila and the family, but ultimately, 
        one that will lead Eulelie back to the truth.

        Filled with multi-dimensional characters and rich 
        with atmosphere, Passing is a story of tangled 
        family relationships the secrets, misunderstanding, 
        and deceptions that hold them together.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


        [[[

        Note: 

        **The term `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a 
        person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that 
        also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

        ^^The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a 
        reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals 
        who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who 
        *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term 
        "black"^^.
        This categorization would have arisen either as a result of 
        the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking 
        on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late 
        1960's, has come to be referred to by the term 
        "black"^^.

        These terms 
        "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference 
        to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied 
        largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset 
        that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who 
        were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to 
        ------ openly support of the new pan-African,  
        anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s; 
        ------ refuse to hold or see the their or another's 
        `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful"; 
        ------ and provide support for the whole idea of making 
        sure that equal rights would become granted to those 
        people who suffered discrimination due to having 
        `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial, 
        ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

        As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms 
        "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to 
        entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase') 
        as instructed by the western media and politicians.

        The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those 
        who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very 
        little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

        The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as 
        the Socio-Political-`Identification' of 
        "black"^^

        *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who 
        has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

        The terms `Pass' and `Passing'
         – as used here – is 
        reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to 
        have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro') 
        ancestry and / or who would simply choose to 
        `remain 
        silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their 
        own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


        ]]]


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