Nella Larsen photo

Nella Larsen (1891-1964)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the African American novelist and short-story writer Nella Larsen, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources

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introduction and biography

"Nella Larsen," a brief biography and information about editions and her reception history, from Oxford Univ. Press.

"White Lies" by James Campbell. On "passing" in America, as a subject in fiction, and a review of George Hutchinson's highly praised biography of Nella Larsen, In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line. In the London Review of Books, 28, 19 (5 October 2006) pp. 21-22.

"Nella Larsen photo by Carl Van Vetchten." Famous photo of Larsen, part of an exhibit of his photos at Yale University.

free literary criticism

Blackmer, Corinne E. "The Veils of the Law: Race and Sexuality in Nella Larsen's Passing." In College Literature 22, 3, Race and Politics: The Experience of African-American Literature (Oct., 1995), pp. 50-67 [free at jstor].

Brody, Jennifer DeVere. "Clare Kendry's 'True' Colors: Race and Class Conflict in Nella Larsen's Passing." In Callaloo 15, 4 (Autumn, 1992), pp. 1053-1065 [free at jstor].

Dawahare, Anthony. "The Gold Standard of Racial Identity in Nella Larsen's Quicksand andPassing." In Twentieth Century Literature 52, 1 (Spring, 2006), pp. 22-41[free at jstor].

Harrison-Kahan, Lori. "Her 'Nig': Returning the Gaze of Nella Larsen's Passing." In Modern Language Studies 32, 2 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 109-138 [free at jstor].

Hostetler, Ann E. "The Aesthetics of Race and Gender in Nella Larsen's Quicksand." In PMLA 105, No. 1, Special Topic: African and African American Literature (Jan., 1990), pp. 35-46 [free at jstor].

Thaggert, Miriam. "Racial Etiquette: Nella Larsen's Passing and the Rhinelander Case." Meridians 5, 2 (2005), pp. 1-29 [free at jstor].

Wagner, Johanna M. "In the Place of Clare Kendry: A Gothic Reading of Race and Sexuality in Nella Larsen's Passing." In Callaloo 34, 1 (Winter, 2011), pp. 143-157 [free at jstor].

Youman, Mary Mabel. "Nella Larsen's Passing: A Study in Irony." CLA Journal (Dec. 1974), pp. 235-241 [free at jstor].

teaching Nella Larsen

"Nella Larsen," Deborah E. McDowell, ed. A Teacher's Guide to Nella Larsen, covers themes and historical context. From textbook publisher Heath.

Young, John K. "Teaching Texts Materially: The Ends of Nella Larsen's Passing." In College English 66, 6 (Jul., 2004), pp. 632-651 [free at jstor].

Some journals I have limited citations from here because they are quite expensive to read, and this guide is aimed at the general public, not students with university passwords who have free access to scholarly journals. Those who have access or a lot of money will find much more in African American Review (published by Indiana State University), American Literary History (published by Oxford University Press), and Melus (published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States). Occasionally material from these publications can also be found at the subscription service Questia, which may be less expensive in the long run.

pay-to-read literary criticism

Hutchinson, George. "Nella Larsen and the Veil of Race." American Literary History 9, 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 329-349 [preview or purchase for $42! at jstor].

Knadler, Stephen. "Domestic violence in the Harlem Renaissance: remaking the record in Nella Larsen's Passing and Toni Morrison's Jazz." African American Review 38, 1 (Spring 2004) 98-118 [preview or purchase for $19.50! at jstor].

Monda, Kimberly. "Self-delusion and self-sacrifice in Nella Larsen's Quicksand." African American Review 31, 1 (Spring 1997) pp 22-39 [preview or purchase for $19.50! at jstor].

Rayson, Ann. "Foreign Exotic or Domestic Drudge? The African American Woman in Quicksand and Tar Baby' [and Toni Morrison]. MELUS 23, 2 (Summer 1998) [preview or purchase at jstor for $42!].

Sherrard-Johnson, Cherene. "'A Plea For Color': Nella Larsen's Iconography of the Mulatta." On the image of the New Negro Woman in the Harlem Renaissance, in Nella Larsen's writing and in visual art. American Literature 76, 4 (2004)[substantial extract, muse].

Silverman, Debra B. "Nella Larsen's Quicksand: untangling the webs of exoticism." On the portrayal of Black women in Larsen's Quicksand and Gertrude Stein's Three Lives." African American Review 27, 4 (Winter 1993) pp 599-614 [preview or purchase for $19.50! at jstor].

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