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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.00
  • September 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97916-9
  • 584 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.


Passing

Norton Critical Editions

Paperback

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Nella Larsen (Author), Carla Kaplan (Editor, Northeastern University)

 

Nella Larsen is a central figure in African American, Modernist, and women’s literature.

Larsen's status as a Harlem Renaissance woman writer was rivaled by only Zora Neale Hurston’s. This Norton Critical Edition of her electrifying 1929 novel includes Carla Kaplan’s detailed and thought-provoking introduction, thorough explanatory annotations, and a Note on the Text. An unusually rich “Background and Contexts” section connects the novel 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, Mary Griffin, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Published accounts from 1911 to 1935—by Langston Hughes, Juanita Ellsworth, and Caleb Johnson, among others—provide a nuanced view of the contemporary cultural dimensions of race and passing, both in America and abroad. Also included are Larsen’s statements on the novel and on passing, as well as a generous selection of her letters and her central writings on “The Tragic Mulatto(a)” in American literature. Additional perspective is provided by related Harlem Renaissance works. “Criticism” provides fifteen diverse critical interpretations, including those by Mary Helen Washington, Cheryl A. Wall, Deborah E. McDowell, David L. Blackmore, Kate Baldwin, and Catherine Rottenberg. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.

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    Acknowledgments

    Introduction

    A Note on the Text

    The Text of Passing

    Backgrounds and Contexts

    REVIEWS

    1. Mary Rennels – “Passing” Is Novel of Longings (April 27, 1929)
    2. Beyond the Color Line (April 28, 1929)
    3. Margaret Cheney Dawson – The Color Line (April 28, 1929)
    4. The Dilemma of Mixed Race: Another Study of Color-line in New York (May 1, 1929)
    5. Alice Dunbar-Nelson – As In a Looking Glass (May 3, 1929)
    6. W B Seabrook – Touch of the Tar-brush (May 18, 1929)
    7. Esther Hyman – Passing by Nella Larsen (June 1929)
    8. Aubrey Bowser – The Cat Came Back (June 5, 1929)
    9. Mary Griffin – Novel of Race Consciousness (June 23, 1929)
    10. W E B Du Bois – Passing (July 1929)
    11. Mary Fleming Larabee – Passing (August 1929)
    12. Do They Always Return? (September 28, 1929)
    13. “M L H” – Passing (December 1929)
    14. Passing (December 12, 1929)

    CONTEMPORARY COVERAGE OF PASSING AND RACE

    1. When Is a Caucasian Not a Caucasian? (March 2, 1911)
    2. Writer Says Brazil Has No Color Line (October 1925)
    3. Blood Will Tell (July 24, 1926)
    4. Don Pierson – Does It Pay to “Pass?” (August 20, 1927)
    5. Juanita Ellsworth – White Negroes (May-June 1928)
    6. 3,000 Negroes Cross the Line Each Year (July 12, 1928)
    7. Lewis Fremont Baldwin – From Negro to Caucasian, Or How the Ethiopian Is Changing His Skin (1929)
    8. Emilie Hahn – Crossing the Color Line (July 28, 1929)
    9. Caleb Johnson – Crossing the Color Line (August 26, 1931)
    10. Langston Hughes – Passing for White, Passing for Colored, Passing for Negroes Plus (1931)
    11. 75,000 Pass in Philadelphia Every Day (December 19, 1931)
    12. Careful Lyncher! He May Be Your Brother (January 21, 1932)
    13. Blonde Girl Was ‘Passing’ (January 23, 1932)
    14. Swedish Negro Baby! (April 28, 1932)
    15. Virginia Is Still Hounding ‘White’ Negroes Who ‘Pass’ (June 29, 1935)

    THE RHINELANDER/JONES CASE

    1. Society Youth Weds Cabman’s Daughter (Nov 14, 1924)
    2. Poor Girl to Fight Hubby’s Parents (Dec 26, 1924)
    3. From Calls Rhinelander Dube of Girl He Wed (Nov 10, 1925)
    4. From Loved Rhinelander, Wife’s Letters Say (Nov 21, 1925)
    5. From Rhinelander Bares Love Secrets (Nov 21, 1925)
    6. Archie Morgan, From Kip’s “Soul message” Notes Read (Nov 28, 1925)
    7. From Rhinelander Jury Reaches a Decision after Twelve Hours (Dec 5, 1925)
    8. [Rhinelander Editorial], The Crisis (Jan 1926)
    9. Rhinelander Gets a Fair Deal (Jan 26, 1926)
    10. Mrs Rhinelander to Sail (July 16, 1926)

    ABOUT NELLA LARSEN

    1. Thelma E Berlack – New Author Unearthed Right Here in Harlem (May 23, 1928)
    2. Mary Rennels – Behind the Backs of Books and Authors (April 13, 1929)
    3. [Letter about Nella Larsen] Jean Blackwell Hutson to Louise Fox (August 1, 1969)
    4. Nella Larsen Imes, Guggenheim Application
    5. [In Defense of Sanctuary]

    LETTERS

    1. To Carl Van Vechten [1925]
    2. To Charles S Johnson [August 1926]
    3. To Eddie Wasserman
    4. To Eddie Wasserman
    5. To Dorothy Peterson
    6. To Dorothy Peterson
    7. To Dorothy Peterson
    8. To Dorothy Peterson
    9. To Langston Hughes
    10. To Gertrude Stein
    11. To Carl Van Vechten

    THE TRAGIC MULATTO(A)

    1. Lydia Maria Child – The Quadroons (1842)
    2. Frank J Webb – From The Garies and Their Friends
    3. Williams Wells Brown– From Clotel (1853)
    4. Frances Harper – From Iola Leroy (1892)
    5. William Dean Howells – From An Imperative Duty (1892 or 83?)
    6. Kate Chopin – The Father of Désirée’s Baby (1893)
    7. Mark Twain – From Pudd’nhead Wilson(1894)
    8. Charles Chesnutt – From The House behind the Cedars (1900)
    9. Georgia Douglass Johnson – The Octoroon (1922)
    10. Countee Cullen – Near White (1925)
    11. Langston Hughes – Mulatto (1927)
    12. Fannie Hurst – From Imitation of Life (1933)

    SELECTIONS FROM STORIES AND NOVELS OF PASSING:

    1. “The Moment of Regret”
    2. Frances Harper – From Iola Leroy (1892)
    3. James Weldon Johnson – From Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912)
    4. Walter White – From Flight (1926)
    5. Jessie Redmon Fauset – From Plum Bun (1928)
    6. George S Schuyler – From Black No More ( 1931)
    7. Langston Hughes – Passing (1934)

    SELECTED WRITINGS FROM THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

    1. Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr – The Mulatto to His Critics (1918)
    2. Jessie Redmon Fauset – The Sleeper Wakes
    3. Countee Cullen – Heritage (1925)
    4. Countee Cullen – Two Who Crossed a Line
    5. W E B Du Bois – Criteria of Negro Art (1926)
    6. Nella Larsen [Pseud Allen Semi] – Freedom (1926)
    7. George S Schuyler – The Negro-Art Hokum (1926)
    8. Carl Van Vechten – From Nigger Heaven (1926)
    9. Langston Hughes – Passing for White, Passing for Colored, Passing for Negroes Plus

    Criticism

    1. Mary Mabel Youman – Nella Larsen’s Passing: A Study in Irony
    2. Claudia Tate – Nella Larsen’s Passing: A Problem of Interpretation
    3. Mary Helen Washington – Nella Larsen: Mystery Woman of the Harlem Renaissance
    4. Cheryl A Wall –From Passing for What? Aspects of Identity in Nella Larsen’s Novels
    5. Deborah E McDowell – [Black Female Sexuality in Passing]
    6. Thadious M Davis – Nella Larsen’s Harlem Aesthetic
    7. Mark J Madigan – From Miscegenation and “The Dicta of Race and Class”: The Rhinelander Case and Nella Larsen’s Passing
    8. David L Blackmore – “That Unreasonable Restless Feeling”: The Homosexual Subtexts of Nella Larsen’s Passing
    9. Jennifer DeVere Brody – Clare Kendry’s “True” Colors: Race and Class Conflict in Nella Larsen’s Passing
    10. Helena Michie – [Differences among Black Women]
    11. Judith Butler – Passing, Queering: Nella Larsen’s Psychoanalytic Challenge
    12. Ann duCille – Passing Fancies
    13. George Hutchinson – Nella Larsen and the Veil of Race
    14. Kate Baldwin – The Recurring Conditions of Nella Larsen’s Passing
    15. Gayle Wald – Passing and Domestic Tragedy
    16. Catherine Rottenberg – Passing: Race, Identification, and Desire
    17. Miriam Thaggert – Racial Etiquette: Nella Larsen’s Passing and the Rhinelander Case

    Nella Larsen: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography