Written by:
Nella Larsen
Narrated by:
Mark Bowen

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2023
5 hours 46 minutes
Quicksand is a novel by American author Nella Larsen, first published in 1928. This is her first novel and she completed the first draft quickly. The novel was out of print from the 1930s to the 1970s. Quicksand is a work that explores both cross-cultural and interracial themes. Larsen dedicated the novel to her husband.
Discussing the novel, Jacquelyn Y. McLendon called it the more 'obviously autobiographical' of Larsen's two novels. Larsen called the emotional experiences of the novel 'the awful truth' in a letter to her friend Carl van Vechten.
Nella Larsen introduces the educated mixed-race protagonist, Helga Crane who struggles to find her identity in a world of racialized crisis in the 1920s. The novel begins with Helga teaching at a southern black school in Naxos which is meant to be a fictional mirroring of the Tuskegee Institute. Helga is the Daughter of a Danish mother who died when she was an adolescent and West Indian father who is absent. Her early years were spent with her Danish mother and White step-father who loathed her and there began her torn relationship with her split identity. The novel gives us a glimpse into the dichotomy of being mixed raced and the divergence into two vastly different worlds as the protagonist travels through uniquely different cultural spaces from 1920's Jazz Age Harlem to Copenhagen, Denmark.
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