shape shape
  galmenu1.gif   galmenu2.gif next.gif

Nella Larsen
James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection

Larsen’s inscription to her friends Carl Van Vechten and Fania Marinoff reads: “For dear Carl and lovely Fania, Nella.”



Nella Larsen’s interest in the vagaries and complexities of racial identification and personal identity is plain in her fiction. The daughter of a white Danish mother and a black West Indian father, in her work Larsen examined the lives of women of mixed racial heritage and explored the highly charged subject of light-skinned African Americans “passing” for white. Larsen was an award-winning writer and the first black woman to receive a Guggenheim fellowship for creative writing. Though her two novels were popular with both black and white readers, Larsen never completed her third. She spent the rest of her life working as a nurse; she seems to have given up writing completely.

shape shape
home | gallery index | Beinecke |