Quicksand, by Nella Larsen

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The Harlem Renaissance period in Modernistic American Literature began when Black authors wrote about that with which they were familiar—what it is to be black. Writers such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Willa Cather proved through their writings that the African-American lives were not only different from that of their white counter-parts, but that the writings were relevant for the historical period and beyond. Another Harlem Renaissance writer who led the way for future black writers was Nella Larsen, author of the story Quicksand. Nella Larsen was born in 1891 in Chicago, the daughter of a white woman from Denmark and a black man from West India (Britannica.com). After her father’s death when she was just two, Larsen became a source of embarrassment for her family because the man her mother then married was white (About.com). After attending high school in Nashville, Larsen lived in Copenhagen a few years before becoming a nurse and marrying Elmer Imes (Britannica.com). The Imes family moved to Harlem, where Larsen worked at a public library before resigning her position to pursue a writing career (Baym 1721). An excellent writer, Larsen was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship, the first for an African-American woman (BookRags.com). Unfortunately, her world shattered after she was accused of plagiarizing a story and by her divorce from Elmer Imes (Baym 1721). She retreated from the literary scene and resumed her nursing career (About.com). She died in 1964, at the age of 72 (Britannica.com). The story Quicksand has a myriad of interesting characters. Patricia Hill Collins used the term “matrix of domination as ‘contain[ing] few pure victims or oppressors. Each individual derives varying... ... middle of paper ... ...f the best stories ever written by anyone—regardless of color. Works Cited Labbé, J. ""Too high a price": The "Terrible Honesty" of Black Women's Work in Quicksand. " Meridians 10.1 (2009): 81-111. Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. Larsen, N. (2007). Quicksand. In N. Baym (Es.), The Norton anthology of American literature (7th ed.) New York: W.W. Norton & Company. "Nella Larsen." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 04 Dec. 2010. “Nella Larsen.” (2006). Women’s history. About.com. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. < http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_larsen_nella.htm> “Nella Larsen Biography.” (n.d.) BookRags. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. < http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_larsen_nella.htm>
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