I am currently taking a class on Women in Literature. It has been marvelous. We have read Sappho, The Metamorphoses, Medieval Literature and more. Coming closer to the present day was this title by Nella Larsen.
Passing was written during the Harlem Renaissance. It is the story of Clare Kendry who “passes” for white. What has this cost her? What will happen when she meets up with old friend Irene?
This is also Irene’s story. She left me with a new understanding of how trying to hold on to security above all else is a complex choice.
At moments, the tension in this book was almost unbearable for me. The reader knows something is going to happen to Clare but what? I could not put this book down wanting to find out but kind of in that way where at the same time I didn’t want to know.
A content warning: There is a character in this books whose racism is deeply jarring.
Have you read this book? What did you think? There is also a Netflix movie based on this novel.