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Quicksand
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
16 posts | 27 read | 24 to read
Born to a white mother and an absent black father, and despised for her dark skin, Helga Crane has long had to fend for herself. As a young woman, Helga teaches at an all-black school in the South, but even here she feels different. Moving to Harlem and eventually to Denmark, she attempts to carve out a comfortable life and place for herself, but ends up back where she started, choosing emotional freedom that quickly translates into a narrow existence. "Quicksand," Nella Larsen's powerful first novel, has intriguing autobiographical parallels and at the same time invokes the international dimension of African American culture of the 1920s. It also evocatively portrays the racial and gender restrictions that can mark a life. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators."
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review
sprainedbrain
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

This book put me through the emotional wringer. Helga is the child of a white (deceased) mother and an absent black father, and as a young woman doesn‘t feel entirely comfortable among either race. The story follows her in her restless search for belonging and happiness. I never felt like I got to know her intimately, which seems fitting since I don‘t think she ever figures herself out. Beautifully written.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#1001books
#readBlackwomen

batsy Great review! And I love your insight into her character ... that's so true. 5mo
sprainedbrain @batsy Thanks! 🤗 5mo
Daisey Wonderful review! 5mo
sprainedbrain @Daisey Thank you! 😊 5mo
120 likes8 stack adds4 comments
blurb
JLaurenceCohen
Quicksand | Nella Larsen

Larsen's brilliant novel follows Helga Crane who fails to find fulfillment in Harlem, Copenhagen, or the Deep South. The mixed-raced Helga doesn't fit into the boxes the world provides. Larsen was a rising star during the Harlem Renaissance, until her writing career was ended by accusations of plagiarism.

23 likes1 stack add
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AshleyHoss820
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

I was feeling a bit so-so about Helga Crane, but this book is so insightful, it‘s a pick. This was written in the 1920‘s, you guys. Happiness is such a fleeting emotion. Finding true contentment? There‘s the trick. It reminds me of the fable of the bat: neither bird nor beast, so he didn‘t feel he belonged to either. It jumps around a bit time-wise, but overall, this was a good read. #1001Books 153/1,001

Leniverse Helga is not all that likeable a character, but I found it very interesting to see the difference between Denmark and the USA in how they viewed POCs. And the ending gave me the chills! Overall I liked it even better than her more famous 7mo
BarbaraBB I liked this one but loved 7mo
AshleyHoss820 @Leniverse Yes! Helga is a bit difficult, but I also was interested in the differences! And it‘s always interesting for me to have a perspective I will never be able to experience! Oh, yes! That ending! 😱😩😕 7mo
AshleyHoss820 @BarbaraBB I haven‘t read Passing yet, but I‘m looking forward to seeing the difference! 😄 7mo
60 likes1 stack add4 comments
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AshleyHoss820
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Today is my last day of regular classes! Now I can finally read for pleasure! 😄😂 Next week: Finals! 😱😱😱 (So far, I‘m sitting on Straight A‘s. Phew!) I should‘ve been through these two books already but...school...😊

ErinSueGreads Good job!!!! 7mo
AshleyHoss820 @ErinSueG THANK YOU!!! 7mo
Liz_M ? you might have wanted an apostrophe or used a word other than "sitting" to prevent casual readers from adding an extra 's' after "As" ? 7mo
See All 6 Comments
AshleyHoss820 @Liz_M 😄😄😄🤣 7mo
vivastory That's great! Hopefully you are able to get some quality reading time during your break! 7mo
AshleyHoss820 @vivastory Thank you!! I‘m sure hoping so! 😂😄 7mo
57 likes6 comments
review
Riveted_Reader_Melissa
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

Another great short story from Larsen, she manages to capture in these tales the disillusionment and feeling of never truly belonging to those stuck between two worlds. The soul crushing pressure and depression of not belonging because you‘re not black enough to be black and not white enough be white, forever being in-between two extremes, and never feeling truly at home in either.

batsy I loved this and Passing. I'm sad that there's not much more of Larsen to discover. 7mo
Tamra @batsy agreed! 7mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @batsy @Tamra I finished the collection of her fiction tonight, and I have to agree...even the other shorts contained left me wishing for more. 7mo
77 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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KellyHunsakerReads
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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This book is quite wonderful and I think that it will only grow in my esteem as time passes. #1001books #audiobook #backpackEurope #Denmark

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2459490577?book_show_action=false&from_rev...

29 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
KellyHunsakerReads
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Copenhagen is far prettier than any other city I have visited. I made a stop at Tivoli gardens and saw my first hedge maze! Nella Larsen‘s novella is a lovely accompaniment to my touristy day. #backpackEurope #1001books #audiobook

26 likes1 comment
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Leniverse
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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The wife of Helga's uncle feels very strongly that she does not wish to be the aunt of someone who isn't entirely white, which means that he can't be her uncle either. 😡
But there is another aunt who feels differently.
#aunts #150PnPCoverParty

@CrowCAH @LeahBergen

CrowCAH Hmm very interesting. 1y
LeahBergen Stupid uncle. 😑 1y
47 likes2 comments
blurb
Leniverse
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Read a book, get book recommendations from what the characters are reading. I looked it up and it seems great. Also very out of print. Good thing I'm in Hay. One more book to search for in the morning. (I have a list.) 😂

review
Daisey
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

I read Passing in January and this story in the last couple of days, and I've been trying to decide what I think of them in comparison to each other. This one felt sadder to me overall, but I also think I better understood the feelings of this main character. She spends most of her life searching for a place in which she fits and can be happy.

#1001books

Also, today is apparently Drink Wine Day, so I had wine and red wine chocolate cake. 🍷

59 likes1 stack add
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BarbaraBB
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Mehso-so

The story of Helga's search for her identity as a black girl in the 1920s in the US and Danmark. Although I did not really liked her character, I could follow her thoughts and doubts and think Nella Larsen has well succeeded in bringing Helga to life. #1001books

review
batsy
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

While Larsen's prose is crisp & elegant, the main character Helga feels elusive & distant. Her thoughts often feel overdetermined & abstract, though in some instances it works well. There's some structural issues due to disjointed time jumps & abrupt shifts. It's still a pick because it's searingly honest about the effects of racism on the psyche & the split consciousness it engenders. It's short & worth reading. #harlemrenaissance #LitsyAtoZ

britt_brooke Nice review! 2y
batsy @britt_brooke Thanks :) 2y
JazzFeathers Bought it years ago and still need to read it. Should movement it up on my TBR 2y
batsy @JazzFeathers It helps to be in the right frame of mind because it's a bit of a downer. 2y
44 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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batsy
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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This is my "Q" book for #LitsyAtoZ and fits today's #startswithQ. I'm reading the Collected Stories ebook and I don't quite like the cover, so I'm using this one instead. I'm almost done with Whatever Happened to Interracial Love and this seems like a good time to get started on Quicksand. #maybookflowers @RealLifeReading

32 likes1 stack add
quote
SaraBeagle
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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If you're looking for a Q for the #Litsyatoz challenge...

blurb
SaraBeagle
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Perfect epigraph for this story. #litsyatoz

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Lauren
Quicksand | Nella Larsen
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Coming back to Nella Larsen since there's so much here.

7 likes1 stack add