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Passing
Passing | Nella Larsen
Generally regarded as Nella Larsen's best work, Passing was first published in 1929 but has received a lot of renewed attention because of its close examination of racial and sexual ambiguities. It has achieved canonical status in many American universities.
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Lcsmcat
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

A book that will make you think about what “race” actually means. I loved the writing, liked Irene, and loathed Clare. A slow boil, but when it comes to it, it boils over quickly! Now I can check out the movie.

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Chelleo
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

It‘s Lit Book Club‘s reading selection was Nella Larson‘s Passing. We not only read the book but also did a group viewing of the Netflix movie. A great discussion as always!!

squirrelbrain I just read this too, prompted by the movie coming out. I‘m going to try to watch it soon…. 1w
BiblioLitten How‘s the movie? I‘m going to watch it tomorrow 1w
batsy I'm looking forward to the movie! But also a little nervous that it lives up to expectations, because I really love the book. 1w
Chelleo @BiblioLitten @batsy The movie was good. Stayed pretty close to the book. 1w
69 likes4 comments
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Sharpeipup
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Found my next Netflix series and my next library request!
#page2screen

MallenNC I just read Passing this year. I am hoping to watch the movie over the weekend. 2w
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Tamra
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Great novel adapted for screen. 🤞🏾🤞🏾🤞🏾I think I need to reread first though because it‘s been a long time. I do remember it being so well written!

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squirrelbrain
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

I was prompted to read/listen to this novella by the recent film release. I‘d also heard so many good things about it when I read The Vanishing Half. It‘s much darker and more suspenseful than TVH, really quite sinister.

Set in 1929 Harlem it follows a short period in the life of Irene Redfield when her childhood friend, who is passing as white, reappears. Clearly it‘s an insightful commentary on race, but also on marriage and relationships.

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BewitchinglyBookish
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Anyone else looking forward to the new #netflixbookclub on the 16th #November21 with Uzo Aduba?! I‘m looking forward to learning more in the #buthaveyoureadthebook series #booktomovie #bookstomovies #bookstotv #booktotv

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ScientistSam
Passing | Nella Larsen
Pickpick

A beautifully written and elegant short novel about race, belonging, identity, and exclusion. How did you interpret the ending?

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DanaManiac
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

4.5 ⭐️

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MallenNC
Passing | Larson, Nella
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I can‘t wait to see the movie adaptation of this book. It‘s short, but a lot happens including an ending that‘s left up to the reader‘s interpretation.

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vivastory
Passing | Nella Larsen
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I read this earlier this year & it has remained a favorite. I just learned that Larsen's grave was unmarked for 46 years, until novelist Heidi Durrow purchased a headstone in '06. There's a short blog post, including video of Larsen's grave, below. Also linking her review of Penguin republication of this remarkable work:
https://lightskinnededgirl.typepad.com/my_weblog/nella_larsen/

BarbaraBB That‘s an unknown story to me, thanks for sharing. 2mo
Dax1 Nice 2mo
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GreenGrl87
Passing | Nella Larsen
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It‘s Lit! VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB

Our next #ItsLit VBC meeting will be a discussion + watch party for the upcoming Netflix film. (Film trailer: https://www.amazon.com/Passing-Nella-Larsen/dp/1614270007/ref=nodl_)

Meeting scheduled for Nov 19th 5:30pm PT/ 8:30pm ET via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87176299528?pwd=TmNwSXJtbFBIWXNldFI4NWh2TzFTdz09

BeaG This will be fun! I read the book a while back. I can‘t wait to see the movie. 2mo
GreenGrl87 @BeaG that‘s awesome, I hope you can join us! I haven‘t read it yet, but I‘m looking forward to it now… seems like a short read. 2mo
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deirdrebeecher
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Anything starring Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson is going to catch my attention, I think they are both brilliant actors. So I decided to read the book their new movie is based on.
*Sigh*
I'm half way and I am both hugely excited to continue reading this masterpiece and utterly disappointed that I had never heard of it. Hope the movie kicks publishing up the arse Nella Larsen deserves to be shelved with the giants of 20th century literature.

Smrloomis Never heard of this either! Thanks for posting it 😄 2mo
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Suet624
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Maybe you all saw the trailer for the film that's been made of this book? If not, take a peek. https://youtu.be/trwq3CNCMkU

vivastory I'm cautiously excited. I'm very worried how they will tackle the ambiguous ending. Especially since audiences hate ambiguous endings. 2mo
Suet624 Good point. 2mo
40 likes2 comments
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andrew61
Passing | Larson, Nella
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My IRL are doing this with 'the vanishing half'. Set in 20's harlem a chance meeting of two women, childhood friends, in a high class hotel's coffee lounge where both are passing as white leads to Irene drawn back into charismatic clares Web even though clare is married to an evident racist but Irene a black man.
A story of race but more compelling the pressures in a marriage that can explode quickly with dramatic results. A very remarkable book.

tpixie Great companion pieces! 3mo
Ruthiella This is one of those books that is so short and compact in its language yet speaks volumes. I admire writers who can do that. 3mo
merelybookish The Backlisted podcast has an episode on this book which I enjoyed. 3mo
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batsy @Ruthiella Exactly this! 3mo
batsy I thought it was remarkable, too. So effective and quietly devastating. 3mo
andrew61 @merelybookish thanks, I enjoy blacklisted but tend to listen when I have read a book but will definitely find that episode now . 3mo
andrew61 @batsy @Ruthiella yes it is a brilliant story told with such economy but without losing the impact. I suspect if written today it might be 400 pages plus and lose its impact. 3mo
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ClairesReads
Passing | Nella Larsen
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My first real dive into reading Harlem Renaissance literature and I‘m here for it. Passing is a brief, thoughtful novella that asks some big questions about our attitudes to race, our assumptions about the people around us, and the way these things drive our social behaviours. It‘s challenging and devastating in all the right places. Thematically, Passing is echoed strongly by Brit Bennet in The Vanishing Half- a great companion read.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really liked the story in Passing, I‘ll have to check out The Vanishing Half! 4mo
ClairesReads @Riveted_Reader_Melissa it‘s one of my favourite reads this year, I think you‘ll enjoy it especially if you liked this. 4mo
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tenar
Passing | Nella Larsen
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When The Vanishing Half wasn‘t one of my top reads last year, I felt left out! It made me want to try more takes on the central topic; this one was just my speed. I love a short book, and Passing, a 1929 work out of the Harlem Renaissance, packs a wallop for its slim size. A complex drama about the reunion of two childhood acquaintances whose lives have diverged across “the color line”, it also explores anxieties of marriage & class. #DoubleSpin

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, this is a good read! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 4mo
tenar @Riveted_Reader_Melissa It‘s one of my favorite books I‘ve read this year! 4mo
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everlocalwest
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

This was fantastic and a perfect book club pick - our discussion was lively!

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TheBookHippie
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Signet edition !!! I just preordered mine it‘s only 5.95!!!

Thank you @batsy for my signet addiction of Shakespeare plays 🙃it‘s bleeding over to other genres !

🤍🤍🤍

batsy My pleasure 😄 I love Passing—brilliant book. 5mo
TheBookHippie @batsy me too, I just reread it, but I feel I must own this one 😂😂 5mo
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vivastory
Passing | Nella Larsen
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#midyearfaves Day 5 A reader's life is frequently filled with literary rabbit holes that we decide to pursue for various reasons. One of mine for '21 has been the novella & few have been as exceptional as Nella Larsen's vibrant work published in 1929. This is the story of childhood friends Clare Kendry & Irene Redfield who reunite when they are adults. Both have “passed“ as white, yet to different extents & with different consequences. If you👇

vivastory read & loved Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half, I would highly recommend this work. Bennett has said in interviews that Larsen's work was a tremendous influence on VH. This book has one of the best endings out of all my #midyearfaves 5mo
BarbaraBB Amen! Such a wonderful book. I loved this one as well 5mo
Liz_M Beautiful edition of a fabulous book! 5mo
AvidReader25 This one was so excellent! 5mo
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Chelsea.Poole
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

I finished this slim classic this morning with my bowl of Cheerios and fresh blueberries picked from the bushes in my mom‘s yard. I‘m sure I won‘t be able to bring any further insights on this book, as many others have already reviewed it eloquently. I do see the ways The Vanishing Half mirrored Passing. Race is the biggest theme but also gender and position in society are largely explored. I liked it but I‘m also glad it was very short, lol.

vivastory Did you see the ending coming? I had a foreboding sense while reading, but I admit I was caught off guard. 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @vivastory I knew something happened at the end, I read a review, but I didn‘t see THAT coming! Also, what do you think really happened? 6mo
vivastory I read it as Irene pushed her out of the window, but I really want to reread it. I think I might have a different take on it... what do you think happened? 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @vivastory I think so too! It is ambiguous, but I was under the impression we were supposed to think she pushed her. And you‘re right…there was definitely something brewing leading up to it! 5mo
janeycanuck Our blueberries are still a few weeks off but I‘ve had strawberries from our garden all week with my breakfast. They taste so much better when it‘s your own crop, don‘t they?! 5mo
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amma-keep-reading
Passing | Larson, Nella
Pickpick

Insecure people hurt people (hurt people hurt people) ... Also, a reminder about choosing friends wisely. And so many other things to discuss.

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KathyWheeler
Passing | Nella Larsen
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My husband and I decided we‘d do a bookstore tour of our area today. We visited four stores — two were used bookstores. This is what I came away with. It was such a gorgeous day to be outside!

BookishMarginalia Nice #bookhaul! Enjoy! 7mo
Tamra What a great day! 7mo
KathyWheeler @Tamra @BookishMarginalia It was my Mother‘s Day present. ❤️ 7mo
TrishB Lovely ❤️ enjoy your day. 7mo
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bookandbedandtea
Passing | Larson, Nella
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This novella packs a punch. Multiple characters in 1920s Chicago and New York wrestle with racial identity. Irene, Clare, their husbands, and a variety of minor characters hold and espouse a broad range of opinions, leaving the reader with much to think about. The ending surprised me and, while neither the reader nor the players seem entirely clear about what happened, my sympathies are with Irene.

Ruthiella It‘s amazing how many layers are packed in this relatively short novel! 7mo
bookandbedandtea @Ruthiella Yes! Nella Larson was very talented. 7mo
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Kristin_Reads
Passing | Larson, Nella
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5⭐️|| Wow. This is powerful and complex. Written in 1929 about two women “passing” as white.

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vivastory
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

This had been on my TBR for awhile. I planned on reading it a couple of months ago after I finished The Vanishing Half, as many reviews of TVH said that Passing is much better. I finally read it after having to pause an early episode of Backlisted last week after they warned listeners that there were *major* spoilers ahead for Passing. I'm so glad I finally read it. Irene Redfield meets her childhood friend Clare Kendry at the beginning of👇

vivastory Larsen's book. The meeting is awkward for Redfield as we soon learn that Clare has been passing as white long-term & has married a white partner who is unaware of her race. Irene, who has also occasionally passed for the sake of convenience, eventually meets Clare's horribly racist husband John Bellew in a scene that is an easy contender for most uncomfortable meeting in 20th Century American Lit. An uneasy & complex friendship of two equally (edited) 9mo
vivastory complex women is masterfully portrayed by Larsen in a mere 120 pages. It's really a marvel. Now, to resume the unfinished Backlisted! (BTW I do think that this is better than Vanishing Half). 9mo
BarbaraBB I am so glad you read it (and agree that it‘s better than The Vanishing Half). The subtlety of racism being everywhere, the passing for convenience indeed, the scene with the husband... I won‘t forget about this book any time soon. 9mo
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vivastory @BarbaraBB And it's so modern!! It was written almost 100 yrs ago, but honestly feels completely fresh 9mo
HardcoverHearts That ending! I‘m still in awe over it. Just masterful 9mo
vivastory @HardcoverHearts Right?! I will definitely be rereading it soon. Easily one of the best novellas I've read. Not a single wasted word. 9mo
batsy Great review. Passing is a quiet masterpiece. (I haven't read The Vanishing Half yet and I'm keen to.) 9mo
Cathythoughts Great cover 💫 9mo
FelinesAndFelonies Stacked!! 9mo
Suet624 You‘re right. It‘s so modern! 8mo
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Blaire
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

That was way more intense that I expected. Clare and Irene, childhood friends, meet again many years later and Irene learns that Clare is passing as white. Their lives become intertwined and the tension builds until the last seconds of the book.

suvata Very surprised by the ending!!!!! 9mo
Blaire @suvata same!! 9mo
Suet624 Same!! 9mo
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Blaire @Suet624 it‘s one of the few books that have truly made me gasp. 9mo
Tamra I loved this one! 9mo
Blaire @Tamra yes! 9mo
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KatieDid927
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

It‘s a classic for a reason. I loved it.

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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Set during the Harlem Renaissance, two childhood friends reconnect after a chance encounter. A very short novel that brings about issues of race, gender and sexuality. It ends quite abruptly, so I need to sit with it for a bit. Admittedly, passing is not an area of the black experience that I have really been exposed to nor considered much, so it was interesting to see the differing points of view explored in this book.

Come-read-with-me Sounds good! Thanks for sharing the review. 9mo
LatrelWhite On my TBR! 9mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego @Come-read-with-me @LatrelWhite Tessa Thompson was a great narrator, and apparently she'll be staring in a movie version as well. 9mo
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AvidReader25
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Great reading month! I dove deep into the Stormlight Archives and finished the first book. I‘m also trying to read more books written by BIPOC authors, so I‘m trying to track that to hold myself accountable. Definitely a good start to the year!

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Julsmarshall
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

I‘ve been meaning to read this #classic forever and I‘m so glad I finally have! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #BookspinBingo #MountTBR #ownvoices #integrateyourshelf

Palimpsest I‘ve not read this book, but Quicksand is a book that had a strong affect on me and that I think of often. Adding this one. 10mo
Julsmarshall Ooh, @Palimpsest I‘ll check that out! 10mo
TheBookHippie This is a favorite of mine. Enjoy. 10mo
TheBookHippie This is a favorite of mine.🤍🤍. 10mo
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mom2bugnbee
Passing | Nella Larsen
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My college freshman (Boston U) is taking a history of culture class and just sent me this list of required books. I'm kinda jealous. ☺ I have Passing on my Kindle (unread), but I will definitely be borrowing the rest of these from her when she comes home for the summer! @Amiable ❤️🤍

CoveredInRust I read Passing for uni a couple years back. I definitely recommend it! 10mo
Amiable That sounds like a neat class! I‘m kinda jealous, too! 10mo
mom2bugnbee @Amiable You,know I have to tag you in any BU-related post. ☺ Her major is film & media studies AND she's a big reader, so she's very excited about this course. 10mo
Amiable @mom2bugnbee I expect nothing less! Especially since I too was a COM grad (in mass communications, i.e. advertising/journalism/PR —it was all of those fields in one back then! Now I think they are separate and distinct concentrations.) 10mo
39 likes4 comments
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LTOC
Passing | Larson, Nella
Pickpick

Fantastic. I only wish that this was a book they made us read in school

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Jen2
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

Fascinating!!!!

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Suet624
Passing | Nella Larsen
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I realized I forgot to review this. Although what can I say that‘s any different than what others have said before? Here‘s something I could say: my daughter just reminded me that my brother, her uncle, gave her this book years ago as a gift and stated he was giving up any hope of writing, as the perfect book had already been written. I try to imagine the impact of the book in 1929. It‘s a short and impactful novel.

BarbaraBB Wonderful review. I remember this book vividly and think I‘ll always will 11mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB thank you and @batsy for encouraging me to look for it. 11mo
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AvidReader25
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

This 1929 novel is about two Black women, one who is “passing” as a white woman. Though the book isn‘t long, it packs a powerful punch. The drama is taut and it‘s shockingly relevant. It touches on issues of class, gender, and obviously race.

I‘m sure this story must have inspired The Vanishing Half in some ways. There were a lot of similarities, but this was written almost a century before! A must read!

Tamra Agreed! 11mo
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sgoffe
Passing | Larson, Nella
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“The trouble with Clare was not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too but that she wanted to nibble the cakes of other folk as well.”

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Suet624
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Crazy coincidence. I asked for this specific sheet of stamps from my daughter for Christmas. It‘s titled “Voices of the Harlem Renaissance”. Today my inter-library loan came in of Nella Larson‘s book, Passing. I just noticed she‘s the first author on my sheet of stamps!

BarbaraBB It‘s a sign! It says you should read it asap 😃 11mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB haha. I‘m on it!! 11mo
BarbaraBB 😃 Happy new year Sue 🤍🥂 11mo
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Suet624 @BarbaraBB same to you!! May we both get to read all the best books and walk all the beautiful springtime paths and laugh at all the funny things!! 11mo
LeahBergen Perfect! 👌🏻 11mo
Suet624 @LeahBergen I love when that happens. 💕🤣 11mo
Leftcoastzen Love the randomness of the universe sometimes! Happy New Year! 11mo
Suet624 @Leftcoastzen thank you, Linda. Same to you!💕 11mo
batsy 😍 Always nice when that happens! 11mo
Reggie It was meant to be. 11mo
BarbaraBB I saw on storygraph you gave it 5 stars! Did you like it better than The Vanishing Half? 11mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB it‘s probably more a 4.5 star read. But I thought for it‘s length and for how much it covers, it was really quite good. I enjoyed both books but Passing felt more substantial somehow. 11mo
BarbaraBB I agree! You can rate half and even quarter stars at #Storygraph! 11mo
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suvata
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

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.

98-pages of awesomeness. Read the whole thing in one sitting because I couldn‘t put it down.

rockpools If I hadn‘t had it stacked forever, I‘d stack it from this review! I really need to actually read this!! 12mo
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Liz_M
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

In a chance encounter in a tea room Irene meets Clare, a childhood friend. While Irene, apparently happily married to a black doctor, only pretends to be white occasionally, Clare has passed into white society and married a wealthy, openly racist, white man. Clare, having never known security, implores Irene to admit her into Irene‘s Harlem existence. Irene reluctant, unable to resist Clare‘s manipulative charms agrees to the ruin of them both.

LeahBergen Look at that gorgeous street! 😍 13mo
Liz_M @LeahBergen It's not Harlem (where the book is set), but I figured Brooklyn Brownstones look much the same 😉 13mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 13mo
26 likes4 comments
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JackOBotts
Passing | Larson, Nella
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1. Beach Read & The Address
2. Passing (tagged)
3. Sweater weather! Colors! Hocus Pocus time!

🍁 🍂 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂
#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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JackOBotts
Passing | Larson, Nella
Pickpick

The complexity of friendship between two women and the secret one carries: she is “passing” as a White woman, married to a White, incredibly racist, man. Larsen‘s novella was moving, slowly building tension as Irene‘s “friendship” with Clare evolves.

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
Passing | Nella Larsen
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This is a tale of two women, set in the years of the Harlem Renaissance. It was originally published in 1929. It‘s a novella about the choices we make, and in that time not everyone chose to embrace their Black community. (As we‘ve seen with this year‘s The Vanishing Half from Brit Bennett, the feeling continues.) 👇🏻

Full review (combined with two other audiobooks) http://www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2020 #readblackauthors

BarbaraTheBibliophage Passing is emotional and focused on two childhood friends with diverging life paths who reconnect after time passes. It‘s the classic case of a stable person, comfortable in their life, being confronted by another person‘s wild card behaviors and emotions. Excellent book! 1y
ManyWordsLater This book is high on my list! 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ManyWordsLater It‘s quite short—easy to fit in between other stuff! 1y
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TrishB Great review👍🏻 1y
Angitron I love this book too! 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @TrishB Thanks, my friend! 💕 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Angitron I feel like I could read it again (and in print rather than audio) and find even more good stuff. 1y
TrishB I have since brought because of your review and the fact that it was 49p on kindle! Not even 99p 😁 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @TrishB 49p?? You can‘t go wrong there!! Hope you like it. 😊 1y
TrishB Can‘t really go wrong for49p!! 1y
TheBookHippie A favorite of mine ! 1y
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Django_Jaleesa
Passing | Nella Larsen
Pickpick

4.5 Beautiful stars 🌟 Full review --> https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3442738367

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tpixie
Passing | Larson, Nella
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I can‘t remember what podcast I heard about this 1929 book ? but I was intrigued. I remember as a child my mom telling me actress Lena Horne “passed‘ as white in early Hollywood. We still have a ways to go but we‘ve come along way! ??? #PasséBlanc #PasseBlanc

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve read Passing and Quicksand by Larsen, definitely worth a read. 1y
tpixie @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Passing is really good. I‘ll have to look into Quicksand. She wrote this in 1929! How many other great books are we missing out on?! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tpixie Too many! Sadly.... 1y
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S.Web
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

How good is this novel!?! This is an amazingly well written classic about an intense female friendship complicated by one‘s decision to “pass” as white. And that ending!?! So good and it should be required reading. I found this one through the Novel Pairings podcast, which I also highly recommend!

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HeatherBookNerd
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

Glad to discover this Harlem Renaissance writer. I‘d never heard of her before. This was a fascinating book about two black sisters, one of whom makes the choice to live “passing” as a white woman in 1920s NYC. And the ending truly surprised me. A quick, good read.

Emilymdxn I loved this book! 1y
Soubhiville I also loved this book! 1y
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megnews
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

An African American Classic, this has been on my tbr for quite some time and I‘m glad I finally got to it. This is a quick read and I definitely recommend giving it a look.

BookwormM Great book 1y
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DannyOlda
Passing | Larson, Nella
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It feels like so much of this novella is wrapped up in these three sentences. This book has been a real pleasant surprise and I'm sad it's coming to an end.

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DannyOlda
Passing | Larson, Nella
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I 100% bought this book for it's cover. The bookshop was closing and the staff was very politely rushing me so it was pretty much all I had time for discerning. So far it's turned out to be a great novella. I just wish it was longer.

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Soubhiville
Passing | Nella Larsen
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Pickpick

There is so much tension in this tiny book! It‘s mainly about two women of color in the 1920‘s. They grew up friends in Chicago. One of them as an adult chose a life of “passing”, marrying a white man and keeping her race secret. The other can‘t fathom that life and the danger her friend put herself in, considering her husband‘s racism.

Thanks @Eyelit for sharing this book with me.

Tamra I too really enjoyed this one! 2y
Joanne1 I can almost feel the tension from here. What a dangerous, precarious life. 2y
Hooked_on_books What a sweet picture of Sietje. 🐶💚 2y
batsy This is such a good book! And your lovely 🐶😍 2y
Soubhiville #Readwithmrbook one word title 🤗 2y
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