This is the second time I have read Passing by Nella Larsen. And the second time was equally as ethereal. Larsen, a Harlem Renaissance vanished literary star, led a life full of ambiguity. I am not sure of her date of birth, as sources very, nor the particulars of her life or reasons for her lonely death.
Passing and Larsen’s writing style are metaphors for her real life, ambiguous, fluid, untethered, unaccepted.
Scholars argue about Passing’s main theme. Is it race? Yes.
Yet, dig deeper. Passing filters through friendships, effects marriages, defines women and the ideal of wife, of mother, of self. Passing is the bridge between life and death. It defines the silky transitions and narrow escapes.
Nella Larson’s short novel stands tall today, even though it was written 90 years ago.
Looking forward to this new season of reading and discussing Passing with all the Chapter Endnotes Book Groups. We start up again in September. I hope you’ll share your opinions of this book and others, by joining our Chapter Endnotes FB Group, so we can get better acquainted, literarily.